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600061 307N 




BODLEIAN LIBRARY 
OXFORD 



r 



■^ 



THE 



TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 



VOLUME I. 



LOHDOK : PBDITBD BT WILLIAM CLOWES AKD 80K8, STTAVrORD aTTBRRT 
▲KD CUARIKG CBOflS. 



THE 



TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 



BT 

MICHAEL BANIM, 

SUUVIVOR OF THE "CHARA FAMILY," 
AimiOR or " CROHOORE OF TRB BILHOOK," AND SEA'KKAl. <l-niKn.S 

or TRE " o'hara talis." 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. L 



LONDON: 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY. 

1864. 

[2%« right of Trantlation i$ reHrved.] 



BtMratian. 



TO 
HIS EXCELLENCY THE EARL OF CARLISLE, 

Lwd Lieut emint <^ Ireland, 

My Lord, 

In acknotvledffment of your kindness to 
my late brother, to his child, and to his widitw, 
and in testimony of my personal gratitude for the 
services rendered to myself, — it is a graiijication to 
me to avail myself of this opportu/nity of avowing 
my obligations by dedicating these volumes to you. 

With the hope that the offering may not be un- 
worthy of one, even less distinguished by his high 

m 

station than by his literary rank, and his bene- 

volence of nature, 

I have the honor, my Lord, 

To subscribe myself. 
Your Lordship's obliged Servant, 

Michael Banim. 

Kilkenny, Novewher 25, 1863. 



PREFACE. 



It appears to me that, in a greater degree perliaps 
than might be necessary with other books, this 
Tale requires a few words of preface. 

So far back as the year 1825 — now, alas ! forty 
years ago, — I made my first essay as a story-teller, 
in conjunction with my beloved brother, the late 
John Banim. 

He had, before that date, taken up the profession 
— if such it may be called — of a literary man. He 
had laid by the painter's pallet, which he had in the 
first instance adopted as his escutcheon, and had 
mounted the insignia of his future vocation, — the 
pen. By the pen he was thenceforth to gain his 
subsistence. 



Vlll PREFACE. 

He communicated to me his intention of writing 
some tales descriptive of Irish life and manners: 
truthful delineations he intended they should be. I 
urged him to do so, and reminded him of certain 
occurrences related to us when we were boys. 

" I cannot take up your ideas," my brother said ; 
" you must sit down and commit them to paper your- 
self." 

After much persuasion, I complied with his re- 
quest, and, devoting my spare time to the task 
assigned me, the result was the tale, the author- 
ship of which is avowed on the title-page to these 
volumes. 

Thenceforward my brother and 1 co-operated as 
joint producers of the tales appearing from time to 
time under the title of "Tales by the O'Hara 
family," my brother residing in London, while I 
remained where I still live, in, as it is called, " the 
faire citie " of Kilkenny. 

My brother's nam de plume was Barnes O'Hara ; 



PREFACE. IX 

mine, Abel O'Hara. And thus it was that we carried 
on our partnership : — 

We wrought simultaneously, each at his own con- 
ception. The productions of Barnes Ollara were 
transmitted to Abel, and those of Abel to Barnes ; 
and our understanding was, that each was at liberty 
to trim and prune, and, if need were, to alter the 
manuscript of the other. 

We never had a disagreement, as to any liberties 
taken the one with the other: the suggestions of 
Abel to Barnes, or of Barnes to Abel, were impli- 
citly adopted by both without a question. Thus we 
continued to go on together, until my brother, in 
consequence of the excessive application of his mind, 
was disabled by the malady wliich, after many years 
of suffering, terminated his life, while yet in the 
prime of manhood as to years. 

For some time subsequent to his death, I felt a 
dislike to follow singly the occupation he and I had 
pursued together; at length I published a tale 
named "Clough Fionn," in the Dublin University 



X PREFACE. 

Magazine ; ** The Town of the Cascades,'* I now 
offer as the second single-handed production of 
"The Survivor of the O'Hara family." 

I have never been, as my brother was, a literary 
man by profession. I have always had an occupation, 
distinct from that of authorship : and almost all 
through, my devotion to my pen has been desultory. 

It is not necessary I should here particularize the 
Tales contributed by me to the O'Hara series, as 
Abel O'Hara ; I will merely state, that they were 
not a few. 

Why do 1 give, in the shape of a preface, this 
short biographical sketch ? 

Plainly, because I would insinuate thereby, that 
I am not altogether a stranger, making my first ap- 
pearance on the literary stage. I venture to claim 
recognition as an acquaintance of some standing. 

I know full well, that no degree of intimacy will 
or ought to influence the reading public, if the fare 
offered be unpalatable or unfit to be served up. 



PREFACE. XI 

With this conviction on my mind, and abiding 
judgment, — fair, honest judgment 1 know I shall 
receive from the tribunal before which I appear, — 1 
offer "The Town of the Cascades" as a single- 
handed production of the formerly Abel O'Hara, 
now — 

The Reader's very humble servant, 

Michael Banim. 

Kilkenny, 2r)th November, 18G3. 



CONTENTS. 



OHAPTEB I. y^Q^ 

INTBODUOTORT. — THE BOBNOOH BATHING PLAGE . 1 



OHAPTEB n. 

^ THB TOWN OP THE GASGADES." — THE HILL-TOP 

GHT7BGHTABD . . . .14 



CHAPTER m. 
THE HILL-TOP GHUBGHTABD, CONTINUED 21 

CHAPTER IV. 
BBIDB AND BBIDEOBOOM . .42 

CHAPTER V. 

THE BBIDE AND TBAOUE ABB INTBODUGBD TO 

EAGH OTHBB. — THE WELGOMB HOME . 52 



XIV CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER VI. 
NORA . . . .01 



CHAPTER VII. 
THE BONFIRE . . . . .69 

CHAPTER Vm. 

THE DANCE . . . . .80 

CHAPTER IX. 
THE MYSTERIOUS RESIDENT OP "THE TOWN OP 

THE cascades" . . . .88 

CHAPTER X. 

THE "colonel's" GRADE IS DETEBMINICD. — THE 

THREE NEIGHBOURS . . . .96 

CHAPTER XI. 

RICHARD o'mEARA's CLIENT . . . 105 

CHAPTER Xn. 
HISTORY OP THE WONDEBPUL LEG. — THE LILIFU- 

TIAN ARMY ..... 115 

CHAPTER Xm. 

FAIR ELLEN, HER THREE KNIGHTS, AND HER AT- 
TENDANT MAIDEN .... 124 



CONTENTS. XV 



CHAPTER XIV. 

PAGK 

MICHAEL AND HIS FOSTEB-BROTHEK .137 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE KEG OF POTTEEN. — HOW NED CULKIN WAS 

MADE PURBLIND . . .153 



CHAirrKR XVI. 
**LOVE IN A OOTTAOl" .... 167 

CHAPTER XVII. 
MIOHABL*S 6ATHEBINO GBIEFS . .178 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
HOW MIGHAEL*S PLAN SUCCEEDED . . .190 

CHAPTER XIX. 
SUITE ...... 207 

• CHAPTER XX. 

ANOTHER SHORT CHAPTER. MIOHAEL*S STMILB OF 
THE BLUE-BOTTLE, AND MICHAEL's IMITATION 
OF FATHER MATHEW . . 210 



Xvi CONTENTS. 

OHAPTEB XXL 

PAGE 

THE WIDOW- woman's PLAOK OP " BNTERTAINMBNT " 214 

CHAPTER XXII. 

THE "LONE boom" .... 221 

CHAPTER XXin. 
A "NIGHT OP it" . . . . 231 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
PLEASANT, HEABTT PELLOWSHIP . . . 242 

CHAPTER XXV. 

PUBTHEB JOVIAL EPPECTS OP THE " CHUISKEEN 

lawn" . . . .263 



THE 

TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 



CHAPTER I. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



THE BORNOCH BATHING-PLACK 

The extent of my experience as a traveller is 
limited enough. My absences from the spot to 
which I have been affixed since I was bom, have 
been few and far between. In my aberrations I 
have never required a due to enable me to retrace 
my steps. Foreign countries I cannot speak of from 
personal observation, and even through my own 
" Green Isle,*' my wanderings have not been wide, 
nor farther from the centre round which I revolve 
than such a distance as a two days' journey would 
accomplish. 

VOL. I. B 



2 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Yet, if one diverge ever so little from the limit of 
his own domestic tether, something will present 
itself not before noticed, — some local distinction, 
unique, mayhap, in character, — some diflFerence of 
habit, or manner, or mode of expression, dbtinguish- 
ing the " natives " of new ground. So that if one's 
gusto for novelty be simple, such as is relished by 
the palate unaccustomed to highly-spiced dishes, 
food to gratify it may be found almost anywhere. 

Whenever I can command even a short relaxation 
from the every-day labour of my domiciliary mill, I 
like to go about ^' poking my nose " here and there 
and everywhere, and I like to examine leisurely and 
closely anything that is even partially new to me. 

During the autumn, some years ago, — no matter 
how many, — ^I had a fortnight's holiday. This, tp 
me, long period of leisure, I spent at an out-of-the- 
way bathing-place on the coast of Clare. And there, 
in one of my " poking " deviations from head-quar- 
ters, I picked up the materials for the narrative I 
am about to relate. 

I call what is to foUow a narrative, not a tale. It 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 3 

will not be a tale, properly so called. You will see, 
if you have the patience to read it, that there is no 
hero or heroine, strictly speaking ;— that it wants 
what every one knows to be the main-spring of a 
tale, and what sets all the wheels busily turning,-^ 
namely, an intricate and embarrassing love afiPair. 
You will see that I have no romantic adventures to 
recite; — in fact that there are none of the sta- 
tutable requisites to enable the production to rank 
as a tale. This then is to be simply a narrative. 

At my out-of-the-way Clare-coast bathing place, 
the visitors who come there are called by the perma- 
nent residents ^^ Forneyaghs*^ which Irish word 
means ^^ sea-diversJ* And the natives are known 
by another local appellation — they are " Bornocha.^' 
The Fomeyaghs are regarded as birds of passage 
who frequent the Bomoch-bay periodically only, 
their main occupation while there being to submerge 
themselves three or four times daily under the 
waves that roll in from the Atlantic for their use. 
This they continue to do while the fiuQ weather 
lasts, but as winter approaches they take flight with 



4 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

the swallows to another land. The " Bornochs" 
or natives are, on the contrary, fixed to the spot, 
and must there remain duing all seasons and 
in all weathers. *^ Bomoch " is the Irish name 
for limpit, which species of mollusca abound along 
the coast, remaining fastened to the rocks all the 
year round. 

So, to use the language of the locality, I was a 
" Fomeyagh " at this unfashionable place of resort 
during the period of autumn, some years since. 

A description of the "Bomochs*' or Bomoch 
village, as I shall call it, not being necessary to my 
purpose, I will not enter on it. It will be sufficient 
here to say, that the village of the Bornochs stands 
above a nearly circular bay opening into the wide 
Atlantic, which rolls along in majesty ; and that the 
waves, which abroad rise mountain high, are here 
broken agadnst a strand, smooth and level beneath 
the feet of the " Fomeyaghs " who disport in the 
waters. I may add, what I found in my own 
instance to be true, that the air about is salubrious 
and health-giving to the sea-divers. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 5 

Two miles inland from the Bornoch village is 
what I believe I must call a town. Of much more 
importance it is than the humble bathing-place. It 
is too pretentious to be classed as a village, and yet 
hardly of sufficient extent to deserve the appellation 
of **town." Still, to avoid giving offence I will so 
name it. There may be, houses and huts as they 
stand, three hundred dwellings within the predncts 
of this town. It is admitted by census-takers that 
Irish houses contain as many inmates, to speak 
moderately, as the houses of any other country. — 
And it is a peculiarity which, I believe, has puzzled 
political economi3ts, that the smaller the houses 
the more close their resemblance to beehives (as 
regards population). The three hundred houses 
forming the town of which I now speak, contained, 
I should say, two thousand ** souls " big and little, 
young and old. 

There is a main street in this town to the extent 
of eighty or one hundred houses on either side. A 
church terminates the view down the main street 
It is plain to see that many well-to-do people are 



6 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

located here, witness the good, carefully-kept dwell- 
ings, and the display of shop-wares — neither scanty 
nor unattractive. It is not difficult as you pass 
along to discover the magnates of the place in the 
busy, thriving owners of extensive establishments, or 
to separate from these the struggling, hard-pressed 
traders. You can easily understand what the pom- 
pous carriage of the first, and the unpretentious 
bearing of the others signifies. And still easier is it 
to recognize those who have nothing at all to bdast 
of in a worldly way. You will find the. great, the 
less, and the least, with a locally established scale 
for measurement, wherever there is a congregation 
of human beings. 

There are many dingy cabins in the neighbour- 
hood of the main street, and the place has also 
its "genteel" residences, — small houses where 
" genteel " people live. In the outskirts there is a 
good Romau Catholic place of worship, and a plain 
but extensive building on a height particularly 
attracted my notice. I learned it was a convent 
school. But as I do not intend to become the typo- 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 7 

graphist of this " town," I will not enter further 
into particulars, except where they will answer my 
purpose. 
The walk from the village of the Bomochs to this 

more important town of , is through a country 

of singularly uneven surface, of which more here- 
after. You enter by a road running parallel with 
a river which flows at your left hand, its banks, as 
you near the town, being clothed with fine old trees. 
From this road you pass over the bridge spanning 
the river. If you pause on this bridge, and you can 
hardly avoid doing so (you will be curious to learn 
why the water is so noisy in its passage), you will 
see, immediately below you a succession of cascades, 
— the whole breadth of the water felling from one 
rocky ledge to another in pellucid sheets, foaming 
and tossing, and falling over another, and another, 
and another ledge ; — then rushing rapidly onward, 
and finally, flowing calmly and smoothly, as if 
fatigued by so many somersaults, until it is lost to 
view in its curves round wooded heights that rise 



8 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

above it on either side. You will see woods mount- 
ing above the river to your right and left ; and you 
will see, overtopping the woods, the mansion of the 
owner of the district, all forming an attractive but 
not extensive prospect 

Crossing to the opposite parapet of the bridge, 
the river is seen in its approach to the cataracts. 
It is curling in dimpled eddies round small, shrubby 
islands, — smiling pleasantly after its escapades 
farther up, where it had had to bound headlong over 
other rocky impediments to its progress. These far- 
up &lls you cannot see from where you stand, but I 
will bring them under your notice shortly from 
another point of observation. 

Before quitting our present position, however, I 
will direct your attention to two points. Looking 
up the river, you will see that the banks, right and 
left, rise pretty high above it, and that there are 
houses built along those elevated banks. Those to 
the left you need not particularly notice, but those 
topping the right bank — ^those with the broken and 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 9 

uneven footway leading to them — demand some 
attention. Look at them, and you will understand 
that they must have been originally intended as 
residences for " genteel people." You will probably 
agree with me, that the locality was not well chosen 

for the class of tenants called in the town of 

"genteel ;" for immediately below you will see bare- 
footed women, midleg in the water, thumping 
articles of household wear with wooden instruments, 
— '' beetling clothes " is the term affixed to the occu- 
pation. And you will see, near the sturdy llanehU' 
seuiesj horses, with ostlers bestriding them, drinking 
the water. "Genteel" people would not readily 
subject themselves to such annoyances. And I con- 
clude that these houses to the right were what is 
called a bad speculation. 

Whether my judgment be right or wrong in this 
matter, it is evident that the houses have of late 
been neglected. They are two stories high, and they 
have windows at each side of their hall-doors. It 
is evident, however, that a paint-brush has not been 
applied to these doors for a very long time ; and 



10 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

they are all knockerless, though, it is to be pre- 
sumed, originally possessed of such appendages. 
Many of the windows, too, are broken and patched 
with paper, whilst window-shutters hang by one 
hinge, or have been used as temporary barriers 
against the entrance of too much wind and rain. 
The water-spouts hang in broken scraps here and 
there, while the unprotected house-fronts are dingy 
and discoloured — ** seedy " houses I will call them, 
adopting the term applied to persons whose outward 
garb is threadbare and out-of-elbows. 

Haying duly remarked these half-dozen " seedy " 
or " shabby-genteel " little houses, I will ask you to 
carry your eye to the left bank of the river. You will 
see there a cluster of inferior dwellings, with one or 
two of more consideration rising above them. But 
the principal object to which I point is a ruinous 
building topping a hill of considerable elevation, 
this hill covered with trees from base to summit 
So, at least, it appears to us. 

I have directed attention to the small, neglected 
houses to the right of the river, and to the ruin 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 11 

topping the wooded hill on the left, as to these I 
shall have to refer hereafter. As a further prelude 
to the events 1 have to relate, I will take a view of 
a residence coiitiguous to the town, wherein the 
principal personages of my narrative dwelt. 

Passing from the bridge, and going a short dis- 
tance along the main street, and then turning short 
down by the post-office, which is in a hollow (a 
"genteel" little house by-the-way), a broad and 
well-kept carriage-road is gained, running parallel 
with the river, and overhung with lofty trees. This 
road leads to the mansion-house I have pointed out 
from the bridge as elevated above the wooded 
heights that overlook the cascades. Before reach-, 
ing the entrance gates to the grounds of this man- 
sion, a view is obtained, by looking over a low wall 
to the right, of a pretty cottage structure. It is a 
low building, but of some extent. The casement 
windows are nearly hidden by the evergreens that 
cover the entire front, but you can see their white 
muslin draperies fluttering in the breeze. Through 
the green covering of the cottage, abundance of 



12 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

roses of every hue and of roseate fragrance, glisten 
whenever roses bloom. A rustic porch supporting 
graceful creeping plants shades the entrance door, 
and this is flanked on either side by a goodly show 
of exotics in flower-pot stands. Adjoining the road 
is a garden well stocked with fruit trees and choice 
vegetables, and beyond this, nearer to the cottage, 
and separated by a careftilly clipped hedge, is 
ample space for the exclusive cultivation of flowers. 
To the right of the cottage, and separated from 
the gardens by another trim hedge is a smooth 
field of emerald green studded with trees, whose 
shadows, when the sun idiines, diequer the surface. 
In the fruit and vegetable garden there is a leafy 
bower, and in the emerald green field another. 
From the first bower a person sitting on its rustic 
bench can see the river cascades, and the verdant 
slopes beyond, and the woody summits; and the 
view of the falling waters, and the voice of the fall- 
ing waters, and the green hill-sides, and the varying 
foliage, produce a pleasant and dreamy effect on the 
mind. From the second bower in the emerald field 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 13 

the cottage only, and its gardens, and the trees 
beyond, are visible. But the dash of the river as it 
descends is heard ; somewhat clamorous, but sooth- 
ing and musical, as the sound of falling waters 
always is. 



14 



CHAPTER 11. 

"THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES." THE HILL-TOP 
CHURCHYARD. 

I SHALL call the little town I have partially described 
by a name of my own bestowing, ** The Town of the 
Cascades." And by this name it will in future be 
recognized. 

During my fortnight's sojourn as a " Fomeyagh," 
in the sea-coast village of the Bomochs, I paid fre- 
quent visits to the '*Town of the Cascades," for 
the purpose of " poking my nose " in every direction. 
I have pointed out an abrupt, wooded hill, seen from 
the bridge when looking up the river, this hill bear- 
ing on its summit a ruinous building. One of my 
poking expeditions was to this ruin. 

My way thiiher was through a very wretched out* 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 15 

let, where half the grimy cabins were partially 
tumbled down, and the people dwelling in the few 
that remained^ to all appearance the poorest of the 
poor. I was obliged to bend my back most incon- 
veniently while scaling this dilapidated street of 
hovels. On the apex of the ascent was the ruin I 
had seen from below. I found that it stood in the 
centre of an enclosed space, and in the enclosing 
wall were projecting steps that enabled me to mount 
up and enter an elevated burial-ground, in the centre 
of which was the ruin I had almost strained my 
spine to reach. 

Like many an object of desire I have scrambled 
after during my life, I found, now I had gained my 
goal, that in the roofless building I examined there 
was nothing to repay me for the trouble I had 
taken. When looking upwards from the bridge, I 
had taken it for granted that I was to find some 
interesting relic of former days. I found no such 
thing. I could learn that a rude, primitive place of 
worship had occupied the same space at some un- 
recorded date. But I now stood by a comparatively 



16 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

modern structurey four roofless walls, without anti- 
quity, or architectural decoration, or legend apper- 
taining, to give them value. A roofle^ bam would 
have been as interesting an object for scrutiny. 

The history of the hill-top ruin is this. It had 
been erected on the site of an ancient crypt forty 
years previous to my visit, and was used as a church. 
The devotion of its frequenters was not, however, 
sufficiently ardent to neutralize the fatigue encoun- 
tered while mounting up, or to reconcile them to the 
squalor witnessed during the weekly pilgrimage. So 
the edifice was abandoned, and a new church built 
of easy access, requiring no more than a modicum 
of pious zeal to reach it, and in the approach to 
which there need be no brushing of skirts with anti- 
christian poverty. The new church I have noticed 
before, as terminating the view down the main street 
of my " Town of the Cascades." 

Seldom, however, do we encounter unmitigated 
disappointment If the object we aspire to be mis- 
understood by reason of its distance, or from the 
vivid colouring of imagination, we may, provided we 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 17 

do not give ourselves up to lamentations over our 
mistake, find that the labour of attainment has not 
been altogether profitless. This not very profound 
reflection I made as I sat on a gravestone in the 
high-up churchyard I had gained. 

The excursion of the eye over an extended plain, 
meandering through which you can note the slow 
progress of a river gently flowing, and where you 
can see trim meadows, and clipped hedges, and em- 
bowered farm-houses, and a mansion with woods 
clustering around, and villages, and village-spires, 
and sheep and kine, and people busy at their tasks 
— ^the excursion of the eye, I say, over a landscape 
such as these objects make up — ^is most cheering and 
gratefid to the spirit But to please what may be the 
idiosyncrasy of my taste, the country 1 now viewed 
around me was more attractive and mettlesome. As 
I looked down from my elevated point of observa- 
tion, I formed on the spot a geological system of 
my own to account for the appearance of things. 
To adopt Cowper's view of the subject, I dropped 
my own "bucket" into my own "empty well." I 

VOL. I. c 



18 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

supposed that at some time or other, when the por- 
tion of our globe beneath me was settling into 
consistency, the area my eye took in must have been 
in a state of turbulent ebullition on a large scale, 
the fluid matter surging and boiling, and tumbling 
and tossing, and rising up in gigantic inflations and 
irregular heavings. I further supposed that while 
the throes of the agitated mass were most excessive 
and obstreperous, a sudden refrigeration had taken 
place, and that while yet rising and falling furiously, 
the boiling fluid had become solidified. Following 
my, theory, which I have propounded to suit my pur- 
pose, I was now perched on the summit of one of 
the most riotous of the heaving waves. 

Whether I looked east or west, north or south, 
there were nothing but hills and hollows. Some of 
these hills were conical, some more rounded in 
form, some ridgy and craggy, some of easy ascent, 
some precipitous — ^in fact, every form of hill you 
can conceive was there — no level spot — no plains — 
all irregularity. The greater number of the hills 
were green or cultivated, many were heath-clad. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 19 

some rocky and barren. Hills, hills, hills, endless 
hills I And then there were dells, and hollows, and 
defiles also, without limit. There were little wooded 
valleys, the foliage sometimes creeping up the adja- 
cent ascents ; there were dells choked up with furze 
and brushwood ; there were gloomy, untraceable 
defiles — the whole appearance of the land vouching 
for the plausibility of my geological theory. 

This topsy-turvy aspect of nature did not want its 
signs of life. Farm-houses, perched in shady spots, 
were numerous. And there were workers on the 
soil. I could see reapers, and hay-makers, and 
turf-cutters. And there were cattle up the hill- 
sides, and down in the hollows. 

Then again, nothing could be more fantastic than 
the play of light and shadow over the uneven sur- 
face. Yonder, a spot of sunshine, close thereto, 
deep shadow — sunshine and shadow alternating in 
infinite variety wherever I looked from my grave- 
stone observatory. The bridge from which I had 
ascended .was so immediately below me that I could 
not see it, but the sound of the tumbling river came 
to me, mellow and refreshing. 



20 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

The sun, in his progress to the west, threw his 
lustre more positively in that direction than to north, 
or south, or east, and the features of the scene so 
lighted attracted my particular notice. 

At the farthest point of vision I could see the 
ocean — the Bomoch bay I judged it to be — ^reflect- 
ing the full lustre of the sun's rays. I could trace 
the windings of the river for two miles of its course 
as it flowed towards me, rushing through a narrow 
dell, impatient and hurried. Here woods rose above 
it — there it chafed against rocks — anon the motion 
was grave and somewhat level. There was a mill 
on its banks, a mile away. I could not hear the 
clatter of the wheel, but I could discern its motion 
as it flung the spray from it in its evolutions. A 
favourable position for a mill that must be, for just 
above its site I could see the river predpitated down 
from a considerable height, the water glittering like 
a sheet of polished silver as it fell. 

From the landscape below me I brought my 
inspection nearer home, to the immediate spot 
around. 



21 



CHAPTER ni. 

THE HILL-TOP CHURCHYARD, CONTINUED. 

It is a truism neither new nor profound, that the 
visit to a churchyard induces the visitor to become 
a moralizer. And no wonder. The promptings to 
serious thought are everywhere around. For my 
own part, however, I seldom moralize in such places : 
in the present instance my cogitations were anything 
but deep or sombre. 

Cemeteries on an extensive scale have been not 
unaptly termed ^^ cities," and this hill-top place of 
rest to the weary might in that sense be called a 
"village of the dead." It was circumscribed in 
space, descending very little below the crown of the 
nearly-conical elevation. But a very populous vil- 



22 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

lage it seemed to be ; not an inch of it unoccupied. 
For the most part its inhabitants must have been 
shoulder to shoulder as they lay " with their toes to 
the daisies." A good number of tombstones lay 
about — oblong slabs supported on low walls of 
masonry. These marked the final abodes of the 
defunct who had held a certain status while over- 
ground, — who had been thriving folk, — who had 
lived in snug houses, typified by comfortable "tombs" 
placed above them here. There were many orna- 
mented head-stones, too, standing upright, some tall, 
some of middle height, some dwarfish. It was plain 
to me that beneath these, persons of lesser grade slept, 
while the respective heights of the head-stones might 
fairly be taken as exemplifying a descending scale 
in the sleeper's rank while his eyes possessed '^ specu- 
lation." There were a few — very few — ^railed-in 
monuments where aristocratic remnants lay apart 
from the throng. There were so-called " vaults" too, 
and of unique construction those vaults were, and 
thus formed, as far as I could judge. A portion of 
the slaty rock composing the hill being quarried away, 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 23 

a recess was shaped : this was arched over, and the 
arch covered with sods : the front was then closed 
up, partly by masonry, and partly by a monumental 
slate: within the chamber thus formed the orna- 
mented coffin was placed, where it reposed unsoiled 
by the churchyard clay. These ** Taults" I regarded 
as the abodes of the "genteel" dwellers on the 
hill-top. 

But these distinguishing marks were few in the 
high-up " village of the dead," as compared with 
the abodes of the unnoted population ; those who 
had dwelt in hovels while alive outnumbered all the 
others by far. A slight elevation above the surface 
denoted their homes, a rough stone here and there, 
but of remembered shape, serving to mark to the 
kneelers who came of a Sunday to pray for those 
they had loved, where the remains of their dear 
ones lay. 

Generally speaking, the Irish are religiously 
respectful towards the manes of their deceased 
relatives. But here one was pained by the sight 
of human remains overground. There is, however. 



24 THE TOWN OF THE CABCAUtLti. 

an inhospitable soil on this hill top ; it must have 
been but half true to say, when the aborigines were 
interred here, that they had been "consigned to 
Mother Earth;" — ^little or no ''earth,'* property 
speaking, must there have been to receive them. 
At the present moment a very scanty sod is imme- 
diately underfoot; the early occupiers must have 
been laid in " narrow houses " scooped out from the 
rock. Now, when a new dweller comes, there is not 
room for him; an old inhabitant must be either 
entirely or partially displaced to give the incoming 
tenant accommodation. " Ejectment " must be re- 
sorted to here, as with the living, and hence the 
unaghtly appearance of human relics and moulder- 
ing coffin-boards. 

We take the monumental statuary of Westminster 
Abbey or of Pere la Chaise as a fair average cri- 
terion whereby to form a judgment of respective 
artistic progress, in a national sense. And I see no 
reason why a parity should not exist, making all due 
allowances, as regards the stony-hearted churchyard 
of which 1 now write. I think the products of the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 25 

artist's chisel on the memorials of the dead in a 
country churchyard, offer reliable evidences as to 
the degree of sculptural skill attained in the locality. 

I go farther even. From the tombstones and 
head-stones in a churchyard, I judge of the artistic 
gusto of the inhabitanb of a certiun area, taking the 
burial-place as the centre of a circle. I take it for 
granted that no one will pay for, and place, over the 
remains he venerates, any production that does not 
come up to his idea of what the sculptor's chisel 
ought to realize. Reasoning thus, I arrive at two 
very important pieces of information ; viz., the 
artistic skill of the district sculptor, and the artistic 
appreciation of his patrons. In other words, I thus 
obtain a reliable insight into the degree of civiliza- 
tion prevailing around me. 

But before I examine the sculpture, I must notice 
what I regard as an example of praiseworthy eco- 
nomy and, I would call it, of wise forethought, which 
might elsewhere be followed with advantage : the 
ideas of one district transplanted to another, like 
the products of the soil, are often improved by 



26 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

transmission. The monumental inscriptions on 
tomb or headstone were stereotyped repetitions, the 
one of the other; scarcely a deviation in any 
instance. The name of the person to whose memory 
the tablet had been inscribed was first given, with 
the age at time of death, and the date of demise. 
The reader was next made acquainted with him at 
whose expense the memorial had been raised, where 
he lived, and what occupation he followed. And 
then came the information that the monument had 
been erected in commemoration of a dead wife or 
husband, or father, or mother, as the case might be 
— and not only in commemoration of that dead 
person, but also of his or her posterity ad infimitim, 
—of the posterity then alive and well, — of the actual 
raiser of the monument, — of the scions of the family 
yet unborn. At the extreme termination of the 
mausoleum slab the usual petition, '^ Reqmescat in 
pacBy^ was chiselled, a large space being thus left 
whereon to inscribe the names of " the posterity " as 
they dropped oflF and came to the final home pro- 
vided for them, I need not enlarge on the advan- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 27 

tages of such epitaphs as these in an economical 
point of view, or as a sage proviso against the pos- 
sible falling off of worldly means, where such might 
happen to the posterity. 

A connoisseur in painting will decide, from the 
tone of colouring, the mannerism of touch, and the 
peculiar ideality, as to the master who produced a 
doubtful picture. In like manner I was able 
to discern that the same artist's chisel had carved 
all the funereal sculptures that fell under my notice. 

A representation of the crucifixion I found to be 
a favourite conception. I am deterred by the sacred- 
ness of it from criticising the manner in which this 
subject was dealt with. The same feeling does not 
control me, however, with regard to the angels and 
doves flying about in every direction, nor hold me 
back from passing a traveller's judgment on the 
other bas-reliefs embellishing the monuments. 

There were certain characteristics distinguishing 
the angels I found here from any I had seen else- 
where, as the product of pencil or of mallet. None 
of the angels, in this "village of the dead " were at 



28 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

rest : all were in full flight, as if eagerly bent on 
the execution of a mission. They were all devoid 
of arms too, and the wings were inserted, not at 
their backs, where angels' wings are generally 
placed, but sprang immediately from the socket of 
the shoulder joint. The wings were not pointed in 
shape, that is, they were as unlike the wings of a 
swallow as could possibly be ; indeed they bore no 
resemblance to the wings of any bird of the air that 
I know of. From the insertion to the extreme point 
the plumes were all of the same length, each plume 
shaped after the fashion of a horse-chestnut leaf, and 
indented pretty much alike. By this construction 
of wing, I understood the artist to convey the idea 
that his angels were better adapted for long flights 
than for speed. All the celestial messengers were 
without attire, and all so thin and spare that you 
could count the ribs along their sides. At first I 
could not reconcile this cadaverous appearance with 
my preconceived idea of angelic beauty. But on 
reflection, I understood it as a matter-of-fact deline- 
ation of ethereality. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 29 

A certain local mark of celestial mission I must 
not pass, inasmuch as a due regard of the insignia, 
when once understood, enabled me to correct my 
error when doubtful as to the being I examined. 
Sprouting from the head of each angel was a 
small cross, — not always elegantly formed, I must 
admit, and not always springing from the same 
place. Sometimes the small cross rose up from the 
centre of the forehead, sometimes from the right 
temple, and in some instances from the left. Although 
I have bestowed some attention on the matter, I 
have not been able up to this to satisfy myself why 
the artist should have affixed the emblem so differ* 
ently, unless he would thereby denote a variety of 
individual character ; the steady angel, I should say, 
wearing his cross in the centre of his forehead, the 
rakish angel over the left temple, the most intelli- 
gent, above the right. 

^^ There seemed to be grades of angels too. One I 
irreverently mistook at the first glance for the 
representation of an owl. The large, staring eyes, 
the solemnity of the fieshless face, the beak-like sharp- 



30 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

ness of nose, the disposition of the hair, and a leg- 
less body, clipped round as if with a shears where 
the legs should spring from, led me to form this 
erroneous judgment, when the small cross above the 
forehead set me right. The want of legs in this 
instance I understood as typical of inferior rank. 
Another, having a cross springing up in the 
centre of the forehead, directly over the nose, 
and having, moreover two other crosses, one over 
each temple, I had no hesitation in regarding as 
an archangel. 

I was particularly struck with the idea conveyed 
by the attitude of a third celestial His ethereal 
legs (that is, ethereally denuded of human flesh) 
were carelessly crossed over jeach other above the 
knees, while he was upborne on his expansive and 
umbrageous pinions. I understood the pose to mean, 
that flying was no inconvenience to him, and that he 
enjoyed it 

Above a chalice the angel Gabriel soared,— his 
trumpet, fully as long as himself, plainly establishing 
his identity as the angel Gabriel Both of the skin- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 31 

and-bone legs of the angel Gabriel were kicked up 
behind his back to the height of his shoulder. 
Certainly no disposition of limb would more distinctly 
denote what I took to be the artist's .idea, — the 
intensity and vigour with which he discharged his 
mission of sounding the summons to the dead. I 
should remark that the angel Gabriel alone, of all 
angels round, was provided with a hand and arm, to 
enable him to grasp his trumpet. One only was 
given him ; he had no necessity for a second, as he 
did not blow two trumpets. 

I have said 1 would not exercise my critical pro- 
pensities where the subject of the crucifixion called 
forth the artbt's genius. This subject, with angels, 
and chalices, and doves were the chosen delineations 
around me. I must in candour admit that the 
chalices were not after any classic design I remem- 
ber to have seen. And I must farther give it as my 
judgment that the doves were chiselled so as to give 
a character of pertness not belonging to this gentle 
bird. I am more inclined to bestow eulogy than 
condemnation, yet I must say that these monumental 



32 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

doves bore a strong resemblance to sparrows, — as if 
the artist had adopted for his models the saucy.birds 
he was accustomed every day to see. 

As I perambulated over the graves, making my 
observations, I paused before one of the peculiarly 
constructed "vaults" I have described. I was 
induced to do so, as the inscriptions on the tablet 
varied somewhat from what I have called the stereo- 
type that generally prevailed. I copy it from my 
note-book : — 

" Erected over the remains of his dearly beloved and sainted 

mother, by Richard CMeara. 

In testimony of his love for her while living 

And his reverence for her Memory. 

Christian Reader, 

;: Kneel and pray for a happy Eternity to the soul of 

Mrs. Ellen O'Meara, 

Who lies buried here — and who 

died in her thirtieth year. 

Requiescat in pace.** 

There was in this epitaph a tone of simple, unos- 
tentatious affection that interested me, and I obeyed 
the call made upon me. I knelt and prayed, as the 
son asked me to do. I then scanned the inscription 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 33 

over, and was engaged imagining a biography for 
this young wife, when a low musical voice accosted 
me. Even the Irish brogue can be made musical 
by a pleasant, plaintive voice. 

" May your prayer be heard, Sir, an' I am sure it 
will. If she isn't a blessed saint already she will be 
one. For she was good, — an' innocent, — an' comely. 
She died young, poor soul, — an' to my belief she died 
broken-hearted." 

These words were addressed to pie by a woman 
who was engaged spreading out her laundry on the 
gravestones. And verily no better spot could she 
have found for her purpose than the hill-top church- 
yard. For the sun shone down fully there ; and 
there was a pleasant autumn breeze waving the rank 
grass and nettles, useful for her purpose as well as 
pleasant to the cheek. I bad before casually 
noticed the woman; I now looked at her more 
closely. Never, no matter where, had I seen a 
pleasanter-looking person. I should say she might be 
about the age mentioned as that of Ellen O'Meara, 
for whom I had been praying, at the time of her 

VOL. I. D 



34 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

death, — thirty or thereabouts. She was in very 
humble garb, but there was a cleanliness and tidi- 
ness in her apparel, and in her manner of wearing it. 
I never saw a cap of more snowy whiteness than that 
which covered her wavy auburn hair ; and to this 
there was imparted, by the ornamental muslin tie 
that fastened behind, an air of taste and simple 
decoration that struck me as ver}^ becoming. I saw 
that her legs were without stockings, and that her 
ankles were tiny and nicely rounded, and that as 
much as I saw above the ankle denoted symmetry. 
Although she spoke to me, I would say, sadly, — yet 
when I looked in her face there was a smile dimpling 
it. Not a smile of gaiety, certainly not. The smile 
of a kindly sympathizing nature it was. The hazel 
eyes beamed too, with the same expression. " This 
woman," I said to myself, " is a gentle, amiable, 
placid creature, cheerful, and hopeful, and blessed 
with peace of heart." Her smile and look told me 
all this. As it is very vulgarly expressed, I forth- 
with " cottoned to her." 

" You knew the person who lies buried here ?" I 
asked. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 35 

" Oh ! then surely I did — knew her well, — and 
loved her well. 'Twas in my arms she drew her last 
breath, my poor, loving suflFerer ! — May Heaven be 
your bed 1*' 

She bowed her head, crossed her forehead, and 
looked upward fervently as she said this. And yet 
she smiled notwithstanding. I approached, and sat 
on a tomb near her. 

"Every grave here," I said — I felt, somehow, she 
would understand me, — " every grave here has a 
tale connected with it, if one could only hold con- 
verse with the tenants." 

** Indeed, Sir, what you say is truth. There was 
never one bom that couldn't tell sometliing worth 
hearing." 

" I should like to know something of the young 
wife whose epitaph I have been reading." 

" An' how do you know but I'd tell it to you ?" 

The smile changed; its sadness partly passed 
away. She now smiled good-humouredly and her 
dimples were deeply indented. 

" I shall be most thankful if you will." 



36 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

'* You're not from these parts, Sir — ^I'U go bail 
you're a Fomeyagh ?" 

'* A Fomeyagh I am, verily." 

" An' you're over among the Bomochs ?" 

" You have guessed aright." 

*'Is it making too free to ask where you're 
stopping there ?" 

" Not in the least too free. I have put up my 
quarters at the little hotel immediately fronting the 
sea." 

Here my questioner bent her head a little 
towards her left shoulder, and looked at me askance, 
and her smile became mirthftJ, and her hazel eyes 
twinkled. 

" I'd lay a bet that Miss Jenny gives you good 
ating an' dhrinking?" 

'*Not better. Quite as good as I need wish 
for." 

" Ham an' chickens ?" 

"Yes." 

" An' roast an' boiled beef an' mutton, an' turkeys? 
an' all sorts?" 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 37 

"Exaxjtly." 

" An' fried eggs, — an' good tay, — an' fish alive 
out of the bay ?" 

" She does indeed — all this." 

" Ah ! — then how I pity you, my poor man 1" 

And she bent her head and laughed a tiny laugh. 
During the colloquy she continued to manipulate 
her clothes as she placed them to dry. 

"Miss Jenny Ryan takes good care of her 
boarders, — as long as their purses jingle at any rate. 
— By coorse you know Michael Hanrahan ?" 

" Certainly, certainly, I could not be at Miss 
Jenny's hotel without knowing Michael — if you 
mean the waiter." 

" As for the matter of being waiter, Sir, I b'Heve 
poor Michael puts his hand to everything. He 
gives a help at the cooking, he tosses the beds with 
the ^rl, he polishes the knives an' forks, he goes of 
arrands, — an' " 

" He dances." 

"Ohl — you may say that I — An' well does he 
know how 1" 



38 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 

" You seem to be well acquainted with my friend 
Michael?" 

There was downright quiet humour in her laugh 
as she again bent her head aside, her dancing eyes 
peering at me as before. 

" Ah 1 — why wouldn't I know poor Michael, when 
he belongs to me? — Don't you see — here's his 
cravat that I'll iron out for him most beautiful." 
And she held out a square of the whitest possible 
muslin. 

"And them are Michael's," as she pointed to 
certain inner garments, " and them's his aprons that 
he wears afore him attending at the dinner." 

" You are Michael's wife then ?" 

" His downright wedded wife I am, no less. To 
have an' to hould, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in health, — 'till death do us part. You see I 
don't forget one word of all I promised him. An' 
'tis far from my intention to forget it, with Heaven's 
helpl" 

" Michael has been most fortunate in his choice 
of a wife, at all events." 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 39 

"Fm not half good enough for him I can tell 
you." 

" You seem much attached to him." 

" That I am, the poor fellow — an' why wouldn't 
I ? Michael would make a queen of me if he could, 
an' I take the will for the deed — that's my way." 

" And an excellent way it is." 

" I suppose, Sir, you didn't come to this time of 
your life without getting married ?" 

*' I am a married man truly." 

" An' by looking at you. Sir, I think you have a 
wife that takes care of you." 

" No doubt of that either." 

" W^U, all I can tell you about it is this. If you 
had a cross-grained, cantankerous wife at home, I'd 
give you my advice to swim out in the say so far 
that you couldn't come back, sooner than go home 
to her again." 

I spent nearly an hour very pleasantly in such 
badinage as this with Mary, the wife of Michael 
Hanrahan, the waiter at the little hotel where I 
boarded. Finally she informed me that she lived in 



40 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

what I have named " the Town of the Cascades." 
That she had taken charge of a spa flowing from the 
cliff within a short distance of the Bornoch village, 
the water of which, as she averred, " would put iron 
moulds " on anything it touched. That her business 
at this spa was to fill tumblers of the water for such 
of the " Forneyaghs " as " thought it wholesome to 
have salt wather without an' rusty wather within." 
That I would find her at this spa every morning 
early, and every evening, " sitting undher a little 
cobbey-house " she had contrived in the cliffs, an' 
in which she would make room for me. And there, 
if I wished it, she would satisfy my curiosity as to 
the young wife for whose repose I had prayed. 

" But," said I, " will not Michael be jealous if 
you and I sit so much together ?" 

" Don't you be one bit afeard of that. Sir dear. 
Michael would thrust me to sit with a younger — ^ay 
an' a comelier man than yourself — if it be not 
making too free to say so. But indeed Michael 
has no sort of fear on him for me — an' he needn't 
either." 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 41 

And 80, although I found in the hill-top church- 
yard no time-honoured relics such as I had reckoned 
on, yet the view of the peculiar scenery I have 
sketched,— the examination of the burial-ground, — 
but above all, the narrative I owe to Mary Ilanra- 
han, repaid me for the clamber upwards. 

I trust the perusal may recompense my readers 
for having borne me company thither. 



42 



CHAPTER IV. 



BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM. 



If it be not known to every one, it ought to be, 
that it is unlucky to get married in May. But 
sooner than put the cup away from the lip, people 
will often run risks. 

Now I would advise my young friends not to 
precipitate matters so as to make it a ^^ needs must " 
to enter the marriage state in the month of May. 
Let them spend that month making their arrange- 
ments, and take the irrevocable pledge the month 
following. Let them not henceforward plead igno- 
rance of the matter. 

It was a beautiful day in May, when a chaise 
drove towards the bridge overlooking the cascades 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 43 

I have described. There were white cockades, with 
ribbon-streamers flying therefrom, decorating the 
horses' heads. There were four horses, and, neces- 
sarily, two postilions, — and the postilions' hats bore 
white cockades also. Within the carriage sat the 
bride and bridegroom. 

When ascending the bridge, the rapid pace of 
the horses was slackened at an intimation from the 
bridegroom: the face of the bride was seen at 
the window looking down the river, and the bride- 
groom's face was seen close to hers, and he was 
pointing in the direction of the water as he spoke, 
visibly engaged describing something. And the 
bride once or twice looked up and smiled in her 
bridegroom's face. 

The inhabitants of six or seven small houses at 
the country-side of the bridge had all rushed out 
as the chaise drove up. The chaise and four was of 
itself sufficient to bring out the men and women and 
children, but the wedding favours in addition set 
them all on tiptoe. 

It had been generally bruited that "Tumey 



44 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

O'Meara" had been married, or was to be married. 
As sure as the day this must be " Tumey O'Meara ;" 
and wasn't he bringing home his bride in style! 
Ha ! never fear him I — he was the very fellow to 
make the most of it. This was the gist of the gazers' 
observations. 

But the manner in which the inmates of the car- 
riage were engaged fell particularly under the obser- 
vation of a tall, robust man who was standing ri^dly 
erect near the centre arch of the bridge. He had 
his own leg at one side of his body, and a substitute 
leg at the other ; the back of his left hand rested 
against the peak of his gray beaver hat in the style 
of a military salute, and his blackthorn cudgel, 
point downwards, was extended from him to the full 
length of his right arm — in military salute also. 
The bridegroom happening to look down, recognized 
the accolade by lifting his hat and bowing, laughing 
the while. And the bride, smiling cordially, grace- 
fully bent her head. Then the carriage, making 
quicker progress, drove on. 

There was a great hubbub m the main street as 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 45 

it progressed. Those living far up the road run 
fast down to have a view : those more fortunate, by 
whose doors the equipage passed, rushed out to the 
full extent of the footway, and very cordial saluta- 
tions were given and returned. 

Down by the little post-office the postilions cau- 
tiously guided their horses on to the carriage-road 
running along the river. A little beyond the cot- 
tage residence I have before described they went, 
— turned short to the right, and stopped at a small 
gate that opened into the flower-garden 1 have men- 
tioned as immediately before the cottage windows. 
Here the bridegroom sprang lightly from the vehicle, 
and lifting out his bride, placed her beside him. He 
gave a few rapid directions to the postilions, who 
passed on with the carriage to the rear of the 
premises, while, arm-in-arm, the young couple 
went through the flowers and approached the 
cottage. 

And here a few words descriptive of them will 
not be amiss. 

The bridegroom was as fine a specimen of manly 



46 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

beauty as you could see. He was tall, fiilly six 
feet in height ; his chest was ample ; there was an 
undulating taperness from his shoulders to the ex- 
tremity of his limbs ; there was an elastic springiness 
in his movements, resulting from the perfection of 
his proportions, and set in motion by the buoyancy 
of his nature. There was an exuberant and even an 
ardent gaiety in his dark eye ; even at rest, there 
was a smile on his lips, ready to expand to merri- 
ment. But his dress was rather dashing than in 
good taste. In the way he wore his hat, a little 
to one side of his head, together with his genial 
air, and other characteristics, there was what would 
compel you to aduiit that you looked at a man 
brimful of animal spirits and of sanguine tempe- 
rament. 

The bride, with every look and movement, gave 
you the idea of gentle unobtrusiveness, of clinging 
dependence, of entire devotion to her husband. She 
was beautiful, too, but you forgot to examine the 
shape of her features, you were so engrossed by their 
loveliness of expression. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 47 

" And this is to be your home, my Ellen," said 
the bridegroom to his bride ; " unworthy of you, 
but still our home, my own little wife." 

" And a sweet, sweet home you have brought me 
to, Richard. We shall be so happy here, dear 
Richard!" 

** Happy, indeed, my bird — gloriously happy — if I 
can make you so. I have been, up to this, a careless 
sort of fellow, — paying little regard to the interests 
of No. 1, as they call it; but now that one and 
one added together make but one still" — and the 
bridegroom drew his bride close to him — "I will 
become another man. I will change to be as sober 
and as steady as any big-wigged judge that ever 
sat upon the bench." 

" Don't try to be over-serious, Richard ; your 
smile I delight to see. It is my very sunshine. Ah I 
I should wither beneath your frown !" 

" Frown ! — ^my frown^ Ellen ! — why I hardly 
know how to frown, my beautiful bride : frowns are 
not natural to me, I believe. But were my eye- 
brows frozen together, one look from those beloved 



48 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

eyes of yours, sweet Ellen, would thaw them asunder. 
No, no! — Not only will I not frown myself, but 
let me see who shall dare to cast a cloud over 
one of my Ellen's days with even a curl of 
the brow. Frown on you, my wife! Impossible! 
Impossible !" 

"Then happy shall we be in this smiling little 
home of ours, dearest Richard." 

" If we be not, there never were two beings happy 
since the world began. Ha I is that you, Teague ? 
You are the first to greet us, my honest fellow." 

These latter words were addressed by the bride- 
groom to a splendid mastifi^ who came bounding down 
the pathway towards him. Teague, having reached 
the object of his welcome, did not frisk about, and 
caper, — and whine, as a smaller and less dignified 
specimen of the canine race would have done, — but 
he elevated his head, looked with the most intense 
afiection into his master's eyes, and sent forth from 
his expansive chest a modulated, rumbling, and 
most expressive bow-wow that no one could mis- 
interpret It meant " cead miUe fauliha " to you. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 49 

Richard O'Meara," as unmistakably as a dog could 
give a salutation utterance. 

Teague was a noble dog, one of the true mastiff 
breed seldom seen now-a-days. His coat was of 
light tan-colour, streaked down the sides with dark 
brown ; his chest and paws were white ; his head, 
gear coloured like his sides. He was of large dimen- 
sions, and apparently of powerful strength. Teague 
never yelped, — I take the yelp to be a dog's laugh, 
or an expression of his peevishness, according to 
modulation. Teague was a silent dog; but there 
was an eternal, good-natured smile in his eye as he 
met you, provided you and he were acquaintances. 
He was never surly ; serious, however, he certainly 
was. I have said that Teague was a silent dog, 
that is, a dog of few words. He did not waste his 
speech in clatter or gabble ; when he bayed at night 
to warn irregular characters from entering on his 
domain, a single deep bark at intervals he con- 
sidered sufficiently significant. 

Teague was not a prancing, curveting dog. His 
motions were deliberate, and there was a self-appre- 

VOL. I. E 



50 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

ciation in his mien, free, however, from what is 
styled dogmatism, that gave you to understand he 
regarded himself as an animal having heavy respon- 
sibilities on him, requiring deep thought and prudent 
deliberation. A stranger would at once understand 
the meaning of his look to be : "I have my eye on 
you ; it is not my intention to do you an injury 
without good and substantial cause. I have studied 
human nature closely, and yov, are an object of 
study to me this moment. Do not imagine you can 
impose on me by appearances. If you have no bona 
fide business here, or if your motive for coming be 
an objectionable one, the sooner you move oflF the 
better. Take my word, I am not to be trifled with ; 
you will have reason to regret it if I find it neces- 
sary to expel you by force from the premises I have 
in charge." 

No stranger could doubt, as Teague walked round 
him and eyed him, that could the dog have spoken 
this would have been his address. 

I must here acknowledge that I tread on danger- 
ous ground in the introduction of even so respectable 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 51 

a dog as Richard O'Meara's into this narrative. 
Some of the best ''characters" drawn by the un- 
rivalled Charles Dickens are his dogs. The tales 
wherein they act could not go on half so well without 
them. Their agencies are nearly indispensable. 
Their individualities, personal and mental, are 
brought out as distinctly from the canvas, and are 
as visible to the reader's eye asi any other of the 
characters painted by that master's hand. I know 
well, therefore, that it is a dangerous experiment 
on my part to make my readers acquainted with 
Teague. It is a matter of necessity with me how- 
ever. It will be seen in time that on a particular 
and important occasion Teague played a principal 
part. 



52 



CHAPTER V. 

THE BRIDE AND TEAGUE ARE INTRODUCED TO EACH 
OTHER. THE WELCOME HOME. 

" Come hither, my poor Teague, come hither," said 
the bridegroom to his dog. When he began to 
speak, Richard O'Meara's right arm was round his 
bride's waist, and his left hand clasped her right. 
Gently he pledged his confidence that she might 
pat the tawny sides of Teague. " Come, my poor 
Teague, come here and welcome your mistress 
home," the bridegroom repeated. Teague wagged 
his tail, not in jerks, but slowly and steadily, strik- 
ing his sides with it as it vibrated with a wide 
sweep. And he looked smilingly into the speaker's 
face, anxious to understand the meaning of the 
words addressed to him. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 53 

"This is your mistress, Teague, your beautiful 
mistress. Your allegiance must henceforward be 
divided, and your responsibilities doubled. You 
must be a loving, dutiful dog to your young mis- 
tress, Teague. You must help your master to be 
careful of her, my old dog." 

Did the dog comprehend the address? I will 
not undertake to answer yea or nay to this query. 

But Teague's acts seemed to imply that he did. 
First he proceeded to ascertain his mistress's iden- 
tity by scent. This point being settled to his satis- 
faction, he discovered her hand where it rested by 
her side. And the hand being ungloved, Teague 
ventured to pass his tongue over it, in the gentlest 
manner. She did not withdraw it; the liliest, 
silkiest hand would not be hurt or soiled by the 
contact. Then Teague caressed the soft hand with 
his head ; then he rubbed himself tenderly to her 
dress. And he looked up at her, as a knight might 
look at his lady when passing the gallery of beauty 
at a tourney. Then moving twice or thrice round 
the bride and bridegroom as they stood, Teague 



54 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

took his position a few paces in advance of them. 
Having looked round to ascertain their will, he 
discarded all strong expressions of feeling from his 
face, assumed a pleased, business-like expresaon of 
countenance, and walked leisurely along towards the 
door of the cottage, glancing over his shoulder now 
and again as he progressed, as much as to say, " I 
think this is the road, but it is well to be certain." 

*'You will find in honest Teague, Ellen, the 
most intelligent, the fondest, and, next to myself, 
the most devoted of servitors. You will become 
attached to him, as he will be to you, fi'ora this 
moment." 

" * Love me, love my dog,' dear Eichard, shall 
be the groundwork of our intimacy. Yes, Teague 
and I will be fast friends. I dare promise for both." 

Teague was not the only one to welcome Bichard 
O'Meara and his bride. Within the leaf-covered 
porch, projecting beyond the entrance door, stood a 
young man and a young girl — a very young girl 
indeed. The young man might be about twenty, 
and was not above middle height. His was a pale 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 5o 

flabby face, that looked even paler than need be 
when taken in contrast with his large, jet black 
whiskers, and jet black hair, which hair was divided 
in tlie middle and combed back over his ears. So 
far as the mouth could give indication of character 
— and is it not the most expressive feature ? he had, 
according to the Irish definition, " an open counte- 
nance ;" for the mouth was very wide indeed. You 
would be puzzled to say whether it was simplicity 
or canniness that stared at you from his large grey 
eyes. There was a mixture of both these opposite 
qualities, taking the expression of mouth and eyes 
together. And there was good-humour and good- 
nature not easily ruffled. So that although you 
should feel puzzled, as 1 have said, you felt inclined 
to become better acquainted with the owner of the 
pale round face and staring eyes and full, expan- 
sive mouth. He was dressed smartly : his waistcoat 
was as yellow as saffron; his blue body-coat was 
decorated with two rows of very shining gilt but- 
tons ; and from his hips down his person was covered 
with a snow-white apron. 



56 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

The girl standing by the young man's side was 
low, and plump, and tidy. Her attire was neatness 
itself from top to toe, but you overlooked her per- 
sonal decorations to note the shiny waviness of her 
auburn hair, the pleasant twinkling of her hazel 
eyes, the bloom of her peachy and peach-shaped 
cheeks, the dimples that played incessantly round 
her red lips ; for however varied the smile might be, 
according to the temper, of her mind, the lips were 
never without a smile, either of condolence, of aflFec- 
tion, of merriment, or of good-nature. 

Such were Michael Hanrahan and Mary Malone 
in the days of their courtship. The same Michael 
Hanrahan this was that I knew subsequently as 
waiter and so forth at the little Bomoch hotel. 
And the same Mary it was whom I met in the 
hill-top churchyard, and from whoser still smiling 
lips I gained the incidents of this narrative, whilst 
seated with her in her " cobbey house " in the cliff 
above the Bornoch bay. 

Teague having preceded his master and his mis- 
tress, as he now understood the new comer to be, 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 57 

and having ascertained that all was right so far, set 
him down on the sanded patch outside the cottage 
door. He took his place at seemly dog's distance, 
a privileged and interested looker-on at fiirther pro- 
ceedings. And he eyed all movements attentively, 
as one who felt himself bound to enter every par- 
ticular in his note-book, to be pondered over at 
leisure, as a reference by which to regulate future 
actions. His tail, which projected behind, described 
a semicircle in the sand, the motion ceasing now 
and again as some occurrence took place requiring 
thought, and then vibrating to and fro anew as his 
mind became enlightened. 

Michael Hanrahan stood, as I have said, on the 
threshold of the cottage door, with Mary Malone 
beside him. When the bride and bridegroom came 
in sight, Michael's body, bending at the hips, 
swayed up and down, and his arms accompanied 
the motion of his body, this bending and rising 
being meant for a repetition of bows, and the ac- 
companying movement of the arms significant of the 
most heartfelt welcome. 



58 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Welcome, welcome ! A thousand welcomes 
home to our young couple," he cried. " Welcome, 
again and again, to the master and mistress of the 
house." 

Here Michael's forehead nearly touched his toes 
in the energy [of his greeting. He so remained 
doubled for a purpose. He twisted his flexible and 
redundant lips altogether on one side, and ad- 
dressed the curtsying and smiling Mary through 
an acoustic instrument thus formed : 

" She's a posy, Mary, — a posy, God bless her !" 

Another uprise, and another lengthened bend. 

" Welcome, welcome home ! — Mary — a posy she 
is surely !" 

The movement repeated.- Another loud '* Wel- 
come !" and another aside — 

" A rose, Mary, — a lily, Mary, — a posy of posies, 
Mary !" 

Aloud again : 

" Wouldn't doubt you, Masther Dick, but you'd 
pluck a rosebud I" 

"My good Michael," said the laughing ' Masther 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 59 

Dick,' "there's a contradiction in all this. You 
are, to all appearance, giving us a hearty welcome, 
but you won't allow us to cross the threshold. 
Don't you see how you and Mary fill up the door- 
way?" 

" Well, well, may I never I— Isn't that a prime 
joke, sure ? — Mary, lave the way, and let in the 
young couple !" And pulling Mary with him, Mi- 
chael retreated within the hall. 

" Faith I'd open the door of my heart t'ye, not to 
talk of the door of the house. You're welcome. 
Ma'am, mighty welcome to us. Walk this way. 
Ma'am, this is our parlour." And Michael opened 
a door at the right-hand side of the hall. *' This is 
our parlour. Ma'am, and welcome you are to it. 
May you be happy ; may you be joyful ; and may 
sorrow never put foot over the threshold you cross." 
" My Ellen, this is Michael Hanrahan," said the 
bridegroom. ** He and I are foster-brothers. My 
friend Michael wishes to be known as one who often 
says foolish things, but Michael is not a fool. He 
is an honest, good fellow, and when his foster- 



60 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

brother takes Michael's advice, he doesn't go 
wrong." 

The bride looked pleasantly at Michael, and he 
basked in the sunniness of her gentle smile. She 
gently took his hand. 

" We shall be good friends, I think, Michael and 
I," she said kindly. 

"May heaven's angels be round you and with 
you," answered Michael, as he ushered the way 
into ** their parlour." And the door closed on the 
bride and bridegroom. 



CI 



CHAPTER VI. 

NORA. 

Michael Hanrahan looked across the hall at 
Mary. 

" Mary, isn't she a posy ?" 

'< Indeed an' sure she is, Michael, as beautiful a 
young creature as ever my eyes rested on." 

" Well, Masthcr Dick, if you haven't the luck, 
never mind it. And now, with heaven's help, happy 
times are in store for us.'* Michael paused, gri- 
maced at Mary, and took a sudden and rather sin- 
gular way of manifesting his glee. In a boyish, 
but not unmusical voice, he began singing the air of 
" Haste to the wedding," thus : — 

" Bo\v-wow-cli(l(llc-doc-i(l(ly 
Bow- wa-d iddlt) dce-dcc-doe — '* 



62 THE TOWx^ OF THE CASCADES. 

and so on. And he danced with great agility about 
the hall, exhibiting his most complex steps^ — the 
** diddle-dee-dee-dee " executed with an intricacy 
puzzling to follow with the eye. 

"Sure there isn't such a dancer as Michael in 
the County Clare," said Mary to me, when she had 
reached this part of her narrative. 

"You and I agree on that point, Mary. The 
other night he seized on a wandering piper, and 
brought him into the kitchen of the hotel. And 
he danced half through the night, until he was 
footsore. He was only able to hobble about next 
day." 

'*Ha, ha, ha! The poor fellow! When his 
heart is glad he dances for the gladness' sake. 
An' what's curious in him, poor boy, I've seen him 
dancing away his sorrow. Ay, indeed, Sir ! But 
in good deed, if you were looking at him that day 
in the hall, the very heart in your buzzum would 
jump with pleasure to see him. Ah, ha I How do 
you think he finished off his 'Haste to the wed- 
ding,' Sir?" 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 63 

" Why, with some pattern step, I suppose, such 
as I have seen him myself perform." 

" There's no doubt but he done the ' legs across ' 
in a way you'd like to see, Sir. You'd think he 
was on wires, he was so supple. But, ha ha ! he 
went farther than that. I couldn't help moving 
my head this way from shouldher to shouldher ; no 
more could I help moving my hands this way at 
both sides of me, keeping time to the tune. Well, 
my honest Michael dances round, until he comes 
close to me, and then he does the step in real style, 
an' then, — when I wasn't thinking of the like no more 
than I am thinking of the like now, — he had me 
round the neck with both his arms, and before I could 
blink my eye, the rogue — kissed me. Well, well !" 

" Ah ! — of course you were very angry, Mary ?" 

" Why, Sir, I purtended to be in a rage. But I 
wasn't — an' the rogue knew I wasn't. Somehow, 
I never could feel angry with Michael, poor fellow, 
— ^an' you couldn't look cross when you wem't 
cross, you know. Sir." 

" You are not often cross, Mary, I am sure." 



64 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Well, Sir, I don't know that; I suppose I was 
often conthrary enough. But never with Michael," 
she added ; " 'twould be a pity to vex you, Michael, 
for you never vexed me !" 



" Teague, good dog, did you ever see her equal 
since the day you were pupped ?" 

This was Michael's question to the mastiff when 
he had coaxed the ill-humour out of Mary that was 
not in her at all. Teague had looked on at the 
dance of "Haste to the wedding" with manifest 
approval. Once or twice even, he stood up, and 
seemed inclined to take part in the capering. But 
that, on reflection, he considered this out of cha- 
racter for a steady dog like himself. As Michael 
put the above query to Teague, he rested both hands 
on his knees, and placed his own nose in contact 
with Teague's. The dog's eyes laughed, and open- 
ing his jaws he murmured a pleased assent to the 
interrogatory. 

"Ah! didn't I guess your thoughts, Teague? 



THB TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 65 

We have a mistress that's worth guarding ; and if 
the world was turned topsy-turvy, you and I will 
stand by our posy to the last gasp." And he patted 
the dog's side lustily. 

When Michael turned again into the hall, after 
he had exchanged opinions with Teague, his exu- 
berance of glee appeared to quit him. 

Partly filling up a passage leading to the inferior 
portion of the cottage, was a young woman. She 
stood there with her arms folded hard across her chest, 
and otherwise in a rigid, unfeminine attitude. She 
had been there, so standing, when the bridegroom 
and bride had entered ; but in Michael's exuberance 
of delight he had not noticed her. She now at- 
tracted his observation. 

** Nora, you look as black as the thunder-cloud," 
he said, reprovingly. ^' There is no welcome for 
our bride in your face, Nora." 

** Every one isn't to be a play-boy like to Micha- 
leen Hanrahan," the girl answered, in a surly tone. 

The half Merry-Andrew expression of Michael's 
face left it altogether. He became serious at once. 

VOL. I. F 



66 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

And with his seriousness an intellectuality you 
would not have expected as belon^ng to his cha- 
racter was in his eye and about his mouth. He 
approached close to the scowling girl, and spoke 
with quiet seriousness to her, while he held up his 
forefinger and shook it at her, 

" I understand you, Nora," he said. " Be on 
your guard. I'll keep my eye on you, depend upon 
it" 

"Faugh! you capering bratT cried the girl, 
violently, while her black brow beetled over her 
eye of jet, and her finely-formed lips were distorted 
with anger and disdain. 

" Keep your eyes on your own affairs, Michaleen 
Hanrahan, or I'll thrust them out with this finger, 
an' make a blind man of you." 

She pushed the finger suddenly forward, and 
Michael retreated a step or two. 
^ " Nora, you have no business to be undher this 
roof longer, and you must leave it" 

"Michaleen Hanrahan 1 my right to be here 
is beyond your right. And let me see the one to 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 67 

remove me from it. Michaleen Haurahan ! you gave 
me a warning. Take another warning from me. 
If you meddle or make with me, 'tisu't that grin- 
ning ownshuch beyond youll have to deal with." 

So saying, Nora turned and was gone. 

Michael's face could not lose colour under any cir- 
cumstances, as it had no colour to lose. Therefore 
it was not unusually pale when he turned to Mary. 
But his lips, which were generally of a deep red, 
were blanched and bloodless. He took Mary by 
the arm, and the right forefinger which he had 
shaken at Nora he now raised at Mary. 

"Remember, I tell you, Mary! There is sin 
and mischief brewing in Nora Spruhan's dark 
mind." 

"Ah! then, Michael, youll find there isn't. 
She's vexed a little because she couldn't lave the 
kitchen to put on her good clothes, an' to meet the 
masther an' misthress. She'll come round, Michael. 
Don't look so frightened, my poor boy." 

Mary smiled her affectionate, soothing smile as 
she spoke. 



68 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

" Mischief there is in her, Mary.^ Not the young 
girl's mischief that teaches them to put the heart, 
across in the boys. That kind of mischief comes 
by nature to them, — that mischief they get as a 
gift, — ^that they will use, and that they may ! — as 
long as the world is a world. 'Tisn't that sort of 
mischief that is in Nora Spruhan. 'Tis the mischief 
that comes of sin. That you know nothing about, 
Mary, acmshJa^ and with God's help you will never 
know anything about it. And that you may never 
have thoughts the like of Nora Spruhan's thoughts, 
is the wish of my heart for you, Mary !" 

Mary here paused in her recital. 

" Wouldn't any one be fond of Michael, Sir ?" 
she asked me. *'He was so pleasant, an', above 
all, he was so good!" 

"I must say, Mary, that your aflections were 
well placed." 

" Indeed an' in thruth they were !" assented Mary 
fervently. 



69 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE BONFIRE. 

"Once more, welcome to yom* future home, my 
Ellen," said Richard O'Meara to his bride, as he 
closed the door of the room into which Michael 
Uanrahan had ushered them. ^^ Come, look as if 
you were at home indeed. This bonnet must no 
longer screen my locks of burnished gold, nor shall 
this big shawl disguise my Ellen's form. Now, 
sunbeam of my cottage and of my heart, welcome, 
welcome." 

And Richard O'Meara tenderly embraced his 
wife. And he felt the gentle pressure of her arms 
around his neck, which, gentle though it was, was 
yet more felt than if a cable's utmost strain had 
bound him. 



70 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

'* Now I must reconcile the bird I have captured 
to the prison provided for her. But our journey 
has been long, and perhaps has wearied you, 
Ellen?" 

" Not a bit, Richard, not one bit. And have I 
not a stout arm to cling to were the expedition even 
long and toilsome." 

Ellen was placing her arm within her husband's 
as she spoke, looking, as she felt, all sunny happi- 
ness. 

" That will never do, Ellen ; the side where my 
heart beats, if you please, — unless it be your wish it 
should shift from left to right to be near you." 

Ellen tripped round, and, passing her arm 
through that ofifered her, she clasped the slender 
fingers of both hands together, and leaned with all 
her might thereon, so intimating her sense of con- 
fidence in the stability of her support, looking up 
into her husband's face as a young and happy bride 
alone can look. 

And thus they went through the cottage from 
room to room ; the bridegroom affecting to depre- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 71 

date the really elegant little home he had pro- 
vided for his gentle wife, Ellen murmuring her 
approval of everything she saw. And she spoke 
her real thoughts, for all was covleur de rose around 
her. 

I will not dog the footsteps of the young couple 
as they take their domestic tour. Newly-married 
people do not, for some time following their bridal, 
feel desirous of the presence of strangers. It is 
known to all that there is a honey-moon to succeed 
the marriage-vow, a honey-moon that shines for two 
persons only, and whose soft beams are but inter- 
rupted by the presence of others. Those who have 
enjoyed the lustre of this planet need no description 
of the peculiar radiance shed by it Others, who 
have not, will best appreciate the mellow influence 
of the light when, after due preliminary, they 
change their state of singleness. This I can say to 
all, that no honey-moon shines on the unwedded. 

Michael Hanrahan, according to Mary's judg- 
ment of whom, " any one would be fond of," did 
not exercise the same delicacy. No matter which 



72 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

way the bride and bridegFoom turned, there was 
Michael Hanrahan's pale, round, flabby face. He 
was there ostensibly as an exhibitor, and to open 
doors and so forth ; but he was there in reality to 
gratify himself by looking at the " posy," which title 
he had adopted as an expressive one. While he ran 
here and there to intercept ** the progress" or "the 
dominions," he nudged and pulled Mary. "Run, 
Mary, your sowl 1" he would say, " run and we'll 
have another peep at the posy." And so Mary 
would scamper after Michael, and by that means 
she was often at his side, curtsying and smiling, as 
Mary only knew how to smile. 

That no part of the geography of the new abode 
might be unnoted by the bride, Michael led the 
way to the kitchen, where he pointed out the 
various delicacies in preparation for the first repast 
she was to grace as mistress of the house. Here 
Nora Spruhan was at work. 

Nora's welcome to her young mistress was af- 
fectedly lowly and obsequious. But the gentle 
Ellen shrank before the intense scowl of Nora's 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 73 

histrous dark eyes. And this expression of hatred 
^vjRras changed to deriding scorn as she glanced at the 
gentleman-usher, while he threatened her with his 
fist behind backs. 

Night was covering with her sable pall the 
flowers and foliage outside the cottage windows. 
The birds had done singing, and had established 
themselves under their respective leafy canopies. 
The honey-moon alone shone into the pretty draw- 
ing-room, where bride and bridegroom, seated toge- 
ther on a sofa, murmured to each other in the tone 
with which the dove accosts its mate. All at once, a 
flash of ruddy light, bursting through the windows, 
paled the beams of the gently-shining honey-moon. 
The bride clung to the bridegroom, and the bride- 
groom himself was not wholly unalarmed. Almost' 
simultaneously with the illumination of the room, 
there arose a loud shout of human voices. Then 
there was a discharge of ordnance, then a more 
vociferous shout. After a while there was a second 
discharge, followed by more shouting. And this 
went on for some time. 



74 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 

" As I live," said the bridegroom, after listening 
awhile to the clamour, " they have got up a bonfire 
on the road to celebrate our arrival." 

And he was right in his surmise. A bonfire 
there was on the road beyond the cottage, and in 
this wise had it been provided. The whole display 
was owing to Michael Hanrahan's exertions. 

From the rear of the premises he had brought a 
quantity of straw and firewood ; on these he had 
piled peat sods, or turf, as the Irish term is. At 
first one or two youngsters had looked on at hb 
proceedings; these he enlisted as his assistants. 
By degrees there were many urchins aiding Mi- 
chael ; the numbers went on increasing, and detach- 
ments were sent out to scour through " The Town of 
the Cascades," and seize on any combustibles they 
could lay hands on. So that in a very short time 
there was a pyramid of very creditable height and 
bulk. By the time this pile was ready for ignition, 
a crowd of old and young, of both sexes, had assem- 
bled. The brand could not be applied while the 
sun was looking on, and his departure was impa* 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 75 

tiently waited for. Ignition did not immediately 
take place, but ag soon as the fire flamed up, up rose 
with it the celebrating shout of those assembled. 
Thus are the red glare of light and the huzzaing 
that startled the bride and bridegroom satisfEU^rily 
accounted for. 

The discharge of ordnance is next to be explained. 
If any one curious about the matter will accompany 
me to the carriage road running parallel with the 
rirer, he will there see a circle of demon-like beings, 
— demon-like, because half their bodies to all appear- 
ance are red hot, — who, with joined hands, are caper- 
ing as demons might be supposed to caper about the 
fire. The fire is so splendid in its way, that it colours 
trees and rocks and all other objects a glowing red, 
and the falling water of the cascades is like molten 
lead as it tumbles. And the demon who jumps 
highest of all the capering circle is Michael Hanra- 
ban, his £eice no longer pale, but positively ignited 
whenever you catch a glimpse of it. 

Within the rampant circle of demons, his person 
thoroughly illuminated, you see a stout-bodied man 



76 THE TOWK OF THE CASCADES. 

seated. You can note hb face quite distinctly. 
You think him a grim-looking fellow ; he does not 
seem to share in the excitement and half crazy 
mirth going on around him. For his hrows are knit 
hard over his eyes, and his bony jaws look as if they 
were locked together. He has two chairs in requi- 
sition ; on one of them he is seated, the other is 
placed in front of him, and on it rests an object that 
arouses your curiosity. It is not a leg, certainly, 
that you see, though it appears to issue from 
that part of the body whence a leg should protrude. 
And see! — there are four, — ay, six, — active little 
fellows bustling about this puzzling object ; — ^look 
now ! — ^a tiny, but brilliant jet of sparks rises straight 
up, and before you have time to judge what this may 
portend, there issues from the extremity of whatever 
it may be that rests on the second chair, a hasty and 
angry flame. And simultaneously, a deafening 
detonation is heard ; the six little fellows, who for 
the moment have been passive, toss themselves about 
like mad imps, the prancers rush round with 
increased velocity, and the welkin rings with the 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 77 

huzza of the assembled crowd, big and little as they 
are. 

Taking the data I have given, I will for the 
present leave the friend who has accompanied me to 
this scene, to speculate upon the mysterious piece of 
ordnance I have so far described, engaging, how- 
ever, to make all clear in due course. 

There never was a bonfire in Ireland, the magic 
radiance of which did not exercise an attractive 
power on some professor of music to draw him with- 
in its playground — the blaze. The little " Town of 
the Cascades" was not without its resident performer, 
and in due time " Donnegan the Piper " emerged 
firom a lane off the main street, and made his appear- 
ance at Michael Hanrahan's conflagration. And 
with real cordiality was ** Donnegan the Piper " wel- 
comed. The mysterious piece of ordnance had dis- 
appeared from the chair it had rested on to make 
place for the musician. The piper was blind, but he 
had no lack of eager assistants and servitors. Michael 
Hanrahan himself enthroned Donnegan the Piper in 
the immediate neighbourhood of the man with the 



78 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

grim jaws and knitted brows. And as soon as Don- 
negan the Piper had screwed his instrument together, 
and prepared it for the performance of its office, 
away went his elbow, and away pranced the dancers, 
and jigs and reels became the order of the night 

And now Michael Hanrahan was in his element, 
and the intricacy of his steps, and the accuracy with 
which he marked every bar of the music against the 
road with his feet, and the airiness of his bound, and 
the humour of his flings as he changed places with 
his partner, drew forth universal plaudits. And 
Michael ** danced to " Mary Malone first, you may 
be sure ; and then he *' danced to " many others. 
And then, while giving place to ** fresh boys," and 
wiping his teeming face, the thought struck him to 
appoint a deputation, and invite the bride and 
bridegroom to the sport 

Capering all the way from the bonfire to the cot- 
tage, he soon appeared before the young couple, and 
putting on his most foolish grin, and bowing, and 
panting, and speaking in catches of breath, he com- 
municated the unanimous request of the neighbours, 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 79 

"that Masther Richard and the darlin' new mis- 
thress would come and have a look at the fun that 
was going oa" Michael might well call this a 
'^ unanimous invitation," inasmuch as not having 
asked any one's consent but his own, no one could 
disagree with him. 

The bride consulted the bridegroom's face, and 
the bridegroom being one who had never yet cried 
" stop !" whenever mirth was to be found, gallantly 
provided the bride's bonnet and shawl, and led her 
forth to the scene of impromptu festivity. 

On their way they were preceded, first by Michael 
Hanrahan, bearing two chairs on his head ; then by 
the dog Teague. Teague's ears were watchfully 
erect, and his eyes glared with astonishment in the 
direction of the unaccountable noise and light. 
Twice he paused and looked back to ascertam how 
those he had in keeping were thereby affected, or if 
they wished him to gallop on and put an end to the 
riotous assembly. Perceiving in them no symptoms 
of alarm or displeasure, he became reassured, and 
trotted on, wondering, to be sure, and curious, but 
not feeling called on to interfere. 



80 



CHAPTER VIIL 

THE DANCE. 

Michael re-entered the crowd crying out to " make 
way." If there could be any doubt as to the unani- 
mity of the invitation conveyed by the deputation, 
Michael Hanrahan, the acclaim with which the 
visitors were received would have dispelled it. In 
answer to the cheers of welcome, the bridegroom 
waved his hat round his head, while the bride grace- 
fully bowed her acknowledgments. Very quickly 
they were installed on the chairs brought by the de- 
putation, the bridegroom's seat being next to that of 
the man with the grim jaws and staring eyes ; that 
of the bride beside the bridegroom. Before sitting 
down, Richard O'Meara cordially shook hands with 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 81 

his neighbour. " Colonel," he said, " I am delighted 
to meet you so stout and well. I had the pleasure of 
seeing you on the bridge to-day as I came home, 
and thank you for the *presen1r anns' you gave 
me." 

" "Was there — saw you. — Joy, boy — joy, boy !" 

The answer was given in four snaps of the appa- 
rently locked jaws, which opened and closed 
abruptly with each separate snap. There was no 
cheeriness in the salutation, nor did the knitting of 
the brows relax, or the sternness of •the eyes abate. 
The shake of the hand was cordially returned, how- 
ever. 

" Let me introduce the * ColoneV to you, Ellen," 
said the bridegroom to the bride. 

The ** Colonel " was erect in an instant, as erect 
as was ever colonel in front of his re^ment. And as 
he so stood, it became clear that the ordnance from 
which the repeated salvos had proceeded really 
formed the support of his body at the right side. 
The " Colonel " looked with such intensity into the 
soft blue eyes of the timorous bride, that she 

VOL. I. G , 



82 THE TOWN OF THE OASOADES. 

winced beneath his stare. With the left hand he 
raised his gray bearer hat to the full extent of his 
upraised arm, and with a twirl of his wrist brought 
his cudgel to a saUite. In this position he continued 
without speaking until Ellen and her husband sat 
down. Then, replacing his hat slowly, he sat down 
also. 

There had been a short cessation of the dancing 
on the arrival of the new comers. The pastime was 
again set going by Michael Hanrahan, who tripped 
up in front of the bride's chair, bowing until his 
forehead nearly touched his toes, and scraping his 
leg backward and kicking it up behind him, ad- 
dressed to her the usual request : — 
" Dance to you, if you plaze. Ma'am 1" 
Ellen looked at *her husband, and he smiled and 
nodded. So Michael, to his proud delight, led her 
forth with great gallantry. But gallantry is not the 
term to use. To be sure, he expanded his mouth in 
the direction of his ears, to a most marvellous 
extent. The smile, however, expressed by the ex- 
pansion was not one of unmistakable jollity, such 



THE TOWN OF THB 0A80ADBS. 83 

as he would have put on with another partner ; this 
was a smile of gratified pleasure, but it was humble, 
deferential pleasure. He had donned his white, 
wedding gloves for the occasion, and he did not 
grasp the bride's hand in his as he would have 
grasped Mary's, but just held the tips of her gloved 
fingers resting on his. And he squared his elbow 
to such an acute angle that, in Mary's words, " 'twas 
so sharp that he could push the eye out of one with 
it." And in this fashion Michael led his fair partner 
towards the musician. 

"What tune will you plaze to have, Ma'am?" 
he asked. The bride declined to choose, so Michael 
very happily ordered " Haste to the wedding," for 
his inspiration. 

"Well, well," said Mary, "'twould be a day's 
journey well-thravelled only to come and look at 
him. He danced the same ^ Haste to the wedding ' 
by himself in the hall most beautiful when he had no 
music but his own little dhasa. But now, when 
Donnegan the Piper was there to lift it for him — 



84 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

an' Donnegan isn't to be bet at the pipes — he went 
beyond the beyonds entirely !" 

" And how did the bride dance, Mary ?" 
" Well — I'd say only middling to plaze my taste. 
She sailed about mighty handsome to be sure, soft 
an' aisy. Somehow, Sir, she put me in mind of a 
swallow, that doesn't clap the wing much, but that 
darts hither an' thither, an' turns which way it likes 
without any throuble to itself. But sure she hadn't 
the steps like Michael, an' you couldn't hear her 
footfall no more than if she was a sperrit." 

None other but Michael asked the bride to dance. 
Michael, when consulted on the poiut, as master of 
the ceremonies, "and the masther's own fosther- 
brother," put an extinguisher on such freedom. 
There was no one there fit to dance with her but 
himself, except " the Cumel," and " the Cumel " 
was neither inclined to dance, nor could he, owing 
to his peculiarity of limb, were he ever so well 
inclined thereto. 

The bridegroom danced, and danced frequently. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 85 

He entered into the spirit of the scene, buoyantly, 
as was his nature. His bride looked on with de- 
light as his splendid figure flitted before her. Pass- 
ing where she sat he more than once saluted her 
by gaily taking ofi^ his hat, and then her acknow- 
ledgment was joyous. 

Nora Spruhan, the girl against whom Michael 
Hanrahan's threatening forefinger had been held up 
in the cottage hall, was present. A great meta- 
morphose had taken place in Nora's appearance. 
She was showily, but, for her, becomingly attired, 
and there was about her a bold consciousness of 
beauty, a forwardness and self-possession of manner. 
No one could help admitting that her eyes of 
sparkling jet, her wavy raven hair, her rounded 
cheeks and rounded chin, her full and flexible lips, 
the roundness of her form, and the ease of her 
movements, gave her no slight claims to be called 
beautiful. But there was an efirontery — a self- 
assertion in her face and carriage, that rendered 
this beauty of person rather to be feared than 
loved. 



86 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

But the bridegroom danced with Nora. As he 
did so there was a whisper and a murmur amongst 
the lookers-on, of which both became conscious, 
though on each its eflTect was different. When, 
very shortly, Richard O'Meara made his affectedly 
rustic bow, and would have retired, the girl 
refused to relinquish her partner ; she kept 
him by the hand and whirled romid him, until 
Michael Hanrahan, availing himself of the rustic 
custom, jumped forward to the rescue. Then 
Nora, flung disdainfully away from the fresh 
vis-a-vis, and dashed through the crowd into the 
cottage. 

The bridegroom procured liquor for the assem- 
blage at the bonfire, and it went round copiously. 
Not one of those present gulped down the beverage 
so provided with better will than the man yclept 
the *' Colonel." His salutations to the young couple 
were fi^uent as his libations went on. By-and-by 
he was joined by two others of better grade than 
the general throng, and these three drank away 
right heartily. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 87 

The bride and bridegroom retired betimes amid 
the thorough good wishes of the assemblage at the 
bonfire. 

And so ended the day of "the hauling-home " 
at the Cottage near the Cascades. 



88 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE MYSTERIOUS RESIDENT OF " THE TOWN OF THE 
CASCADES." 

Early in this narrative, while looking up the river 
from the bridge, I directed attention to half a dozen 
or so of small " shabby-genteel " houses rising above 
the right bank of the river. 

In three of these, the three nearest the bridge, 
dwelt three great cronies. In that immediately at 
hand lived the man from whose right limb, as it so 
far appears, proceeded the cannonading at the 
bonfire. 

This strange person was not a native of "The 
Town of the Cascades," and the fixing of his 
abode there appeared to have been purely acci- 
dental. On an evening, three years prior to the 



THE TOWN OP THE. CASCADES. 89 

period of my narrative, he had arrived from the 
county-town as one of the passengers wedged 
together on the public car. 

Every one who has journeyed on an Irish " pub- 
lic car " knows that from starting to pulling-up, the 
travellers are right good neighbours for the while ; 
that the closer they are packed, the better neigh- 
bours they become, and that loud talk, loud 
laughter, mirth, and good fellowship make up the 
rule of the road. This being the case it was re- 
marked as singular and unaccountable that the man 
I am now writing of did not once open his lips 
during the journey of more than twenty miles, ex- 
cept when he opened them to swallow liquor 
wherever it could be obtained. 

When the car stopped at the "office*' in the 
main street, the passengers, except the silent one, 
jumped down to scramble for their luggage, and 
depart for their several destinations. And when all 
had gone off, there he remained, still, without speak- 
ing. Exclusive of the beggars, who are numerous, 
and who have been often described by tourists. 



90 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES: 

there is always a knot of inquiring people assembled 
to scrutinize the arrivals on the public car, and 
sarcastic enough their remarks often are ; generally, 
there is a policeman too, to look on quietly, and see 
that all is as it should be. 

^rhe scrutineers on the present occasion were 
deeply interested to discover why this silent man re- 
mained in his seat, without any apparent intention 
of moving. And the policeman considered he was 
bound to step forward and make inquisition. To 
the inquiries thereupon addressed to the silent man, 
no answer was returned, but he stared at the ques* 
tioner with a stem and stupefied gaze. It was 
ascertained, however, that the object of curiosity had 
a wooden leg, — that he was very drunk, — but that 
though helpless from inebriation, his right arm was 
firmly twined round a good-sized portmanteau 
immediately behind him. 

It would have been the manifest duty of the 
policeman to have taken this silent, staring man 
into his keeping. There could be no doubt that he 
was *'a case." Drunken men are called "cases,*' 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADEa 91 

but the exacst analysis of the term I am not able to 
give. " Cases " of liquor, metaphorically considered, 
they may perhaps be. 

It was evident to the lookers-on that if any 
amongst them were found as " far gone " as the man 
sitting on this car, such would be regarded as a 
*' case " by the policeman, and dealt with accord- 
ingly. But, owing perhaps to a brotherly feeling, 
the majority having been " cases " themselves when- 
ever practicable, the policeman's present conception 
of his duty was greatly approved of, and he received 
cordial aid in removing the silent, tipsy, wooden- 
legged man into the house of a certain " widow- 
woman " near at hand who kept accommodation for 
lodgers. The heavy portmanteau, a military cloak, 
and a stout blackthorn cudgel found clutched in his 
right hand, were accordingly all brought in and 
given in charge to the ** widow-woman," together 
with the owner of these articles. 

Such was the first appearance in "The Town of 
the Cascades " of the man now resident in the nearest 
of the shabby-genteel houses above the bridge. 



92 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

After removing his wooden leg, which was ex- 
pertly unstrapped by the policeman, the man was 
placed in bed, precautions being taken by the same 
official to seal up his portmanteau so that the con- 
tents could not be meddled with. 

The next morning the silent man was delirious ; 
and so he continued for more than a week. It was 
remarkable that nearly all his colloquies with the 
fanciful personages about his bed were carried on 
by signs, and that for ten days the only words he 
uttered were, these, — "Ready, present, fire!" — 
enough to prove these three words were, that al- 
though chary of his speech he was not dumb. The 
doctor who attended him asserted that his illness 
was the result of intemperate habits, and I suppose 
the doctor was right. 

After a lapse of ten days the patient's intellect 
returned. He beckoned the " widow-woman " who 
had been his nurse over to his bedside ; he grasped 
her hand. 

" Thanks — good — madam 1" he said — " Honour 
and soul — ^not forget it — never 1" 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 93 

He rapidly recovered. When able to rise, the 
key of the iron-bound portmanteau was forthcoming : 
where it had previously been no one could telL 
From the portmanteau he drew forth money, and 
paid freely and liberally all claims on him. 

Whatever may have been his influencing motive, 
the silent man now fixed himself permanently in 
'*The Town of the Cascades." 

From the evening that the silent man had been 
consigned from the public car to the "widow- 
woman's '^ care, he had been an object of the most 
absorbing speculations to, I may safely say, every 
resident in my " Town of the Cascades.'* 

« Who b he ?"— " What is he ?'— " What is his 
name?" — "Where did he come from?" — "What 
brought him here?" were questions in every one's 
mouth ; questions with which neighbour plied neigh- 
bour, and questions that no neighbour could satis- 
factorily answer. There were surmises and sus- 
picions innumerable, but nothing that could be 
relied on as conclusive. 

The first day the silent man appeared in the 



94 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

main street, he was closely and accurately examined 
from head to foot, to enable the observers to come 
to something like an accurate decision about him. 
It would seem that he was a tall man, and a robust 
man, with broad chest and shoulders ; that at the 
right side of his body there was a wooden leg : 
— that in his right hand he carried a stout cudgel : 
— that as he went along he punched his wooden leg 
down in a resolute manner : — that at his left side 
was his own original left leg, and that this was of 
brawny proportion, and that he flung it before him 
with a sturdy step, and as if marching in military 
style. 

It was further remarked that he held his head 
loftily, his broad chin pointing upwards. Also, 
physiognomists observed, that his teeth appeared to 
be riveted together, and that he stared hard at 
everything and everybody, from beneath heavy 
brows that nearly met together above his hooked 
nose. 

Nor did bis attire pass unnoticed. It was indu- 
bitably a blue military frock-coat that he wore. 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 95 

buttoned up to his throat. No one but a military 
man could endure his black silk stock pulled so 
tight beneath his chin. And his blue trousers, with 
the red stripe down the outside seam, were mili- 
tary trousers, beyond a question. Indeed the only 
portion of dress about him not military was the high- 
crowned, broad-leafed, drab-colourcd beaver hat 
that rose above his head. But even this could not 
neutralize the general air and costume of the man. 



CHAPTEB X. 

THE " colonel's " GRADE IS DETERMINED. THE 
THREE NEIGHBOURS, 

Nick Mahaffy, the draper and silk-mercer and 
so forth, who as the stranger passed had stood at 
his door with his thumbs inserted into the armholes 
of his waistcoat, straddled halfway across the street 
to meet his opposite neighbour, Pat Dreelan, the 
grocer and spirit-dealer; and five or six others of 
less note, as " birds of a feather," joined these two. 

He's an officer on the half-pay list, — ^you may 
depend upon it," gurgled out Nick Mahafiy. And 
he turned his bullet-head round, his chin revolving 
within his capacious cravat, and his prominent blue 
eyes rolling from face to face. Nick Mahafiy 
regslrded himself as the principal man of the town, 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 97 

and as such, he expected that '^ all he said should 
be gospel." 

" To all appearance what you say is very likely, 
Mr. Mahaflfy," modestly assented Pat Dreelan. 

" I'm sure of it I say it, and am sure of it" 

Nick Maha% became dogmatical, and hb face 
was flushed, as he challenged contradiction by 
frowning at each of the bystanders separately. 

There was an acquiescing nod, or nod and shrewd 
wink, from all save Toby Purcell, the keeper of the 
**McMahon Arms" hotel. Toby was not a point- 
blank dissentient, but he had a jesting remark to 
make on all occasions. 

" He's not an officer out and out at any rate," 
observed Toby, " for there is some of him wanting. 
He forgot his right leg behind him somewhere." 

** I say he ^ an officer on the half-pay list," reite- 
rated Nick Mahafiy in a passionate tone, his anger 
roused when he found his " gospel " questioned even 
in jest. 

Luckily, at this instant, the person commented 
on, who had paused for a moment, gazing in the 

VOL. L H 



98 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

direction of the church, which as I have said tenni- 
nated the main street, wheeled suddenly and rapidly 
round. The knot of observers dispersed at once, 
with the exception of Nick Mahaffy, who recrossed 
the street slowly, his thumbs still in his waistcoat 
boles, neither his dignity or corpulence allowing of 
hasty movements. 

It was not altogether on the dictum of Nick 
Mahafi^ that a conclusion was arrived at. The 
general judgment led to the adoption of his opinion, 
namely, that the ^* silent man'' was a half-pay 
officer. 

Consultations were subsequently held to decide 
on his grade. At first the opinions were various. 
One thought he must be a captain, another would 
dub him major. 

" By Jericho," said Toby Purcell, " yoH may as 
well for the honour and credit of the town, make 
him a general at once. 'Twon't cost you a halfjpenny 
more." 

Here again Nick Mahafiy came in with his 
dictum. 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 99 

** I say it, and I'm sure of it, that he's a Curnel." 

So a colonel's rank was awarded to the new- 
comer. He never on any occasion when so addressed 
repudiated the title, and it became his thencefor- 
ward. 

There was a difference, however, in speaking to 
and speaking of this mysterious settler. There was 
some doubt as to the colonelcy ; there was none a,s 
to the fact of his being on the half-pay list. So it 
came about that he was familiarly spoken of as '' the 
Half-pay." And the Half-pay I shall in future 
term him. 

Two very material questions were yet to be de- 
cided : " Where did he come from ?" and " What 
was his name ?" 

He could not be traced one inch further than the 
county-tOwn somewhat beyond twenty miles distant. 
He did not belong to the county-town, however. 
There was no doubt as to his country. He was not 
English or Scotch ; he was not a ^' northern ;" but 
there was no clue to guide inquiry as to which of 
the other three provinces of Ireland he had migrated 



100 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

from. Then, as to his name. This proved a 
mystery too. He had not told his name to toy one. 
The *' widow-woman " could not ^ve information. 
There was no address or label on his iron-bound 
portmanteau, nor had he left behind him on any 
occasion one line to enlighten people on this point 
The widow-woman had asked his name. She ima- 
gined he was vexed with her for so questioning him, 
and he was too generous to be vexed by her. But 
in answer to her inquiry he had snapped open his 
jaws twice to say, ** P. ! W. I" 

Now this intelligence was no way satisfactory. 
" P. W." could not be the Colonel's name. Toby 
Purcell's translations of "Paddy Whelan," or 
" Perry Winkle," or " Peery Walsh," were deemed 
more witty than wise. 

But the stranger received letters at the post-oflSce ? 
Yes, he received one letter each quarter on a certain 
day. These letters, however, were addressed to 
"P. W." So the inquirers remained as much in 
the dark as ever. And our friend continued to 
be known by no other name, "/atrfd de meiUewr^' 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 101 

than that of the Half-pay, or, in addressing him, 
that of Colonel. 

The 'Half-pay, then, lived in the little " shabby- 
genteel '' house on the right of the river, looking up 
from the bridge ; and in that one nearest the bridge. 

The next door neighbour to the Half-pay was 
Ned Culkin, the gauger of the district. Ned 
Culkin, as my friend Mary described him, was " a 
small round, lump of a man," who up to a certain 
hour every day, winter and summer, complained 
that " there was a shivering of cowld over him," and 
who, while this " shivering of cowld " lasted, was a 
blear-eyed, bilious-looking, tottering little creature. 
But when his peculiar affection passed off, he was 
changed, all at once, into as prancing, chattering, 
saucy fellow of his inches as you could meet. 

To account for this every-day change in Ned 
Culkin, — to assign a cause why up to a certain hour 
he would "shiver with cowld," rub his eyes con- 
stantly, be sadly despondent, and tottering of gait, 
and then, that he should become so suddenly a very 
sparrow in pertness and movement, may appear 



102 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

diflScult. But the daily contrast in the same in- 
dividual can be accounted for notwithstanding. 

Every night that Ned Culkin the gauger lay 
down, he was brimful of caloric, " from the crown of 
his head to the soles of his feet." Every day this 
superabundance of caloric departed from the system ; 
it was " given out," as I believe the scientific term 
IS. During this " giving out " of his surcharge of 
caloric, Ned Culkin " shivered with cowld," Ned 
Culkin heaved sighs and was sad, Ned Culkin's 
very limbs shook under him. He was as useless 
as if he were a sensitive steam-engine without 
fire under the boiler. This state being irksome to 
excess, Ned Culkin was wont to get under weigh 
again by a fresh supply of caloric to replace what 
had been " given out ;" and so the diflSculty of ex- 
planation is surmounted. Need I say, in plain 
words, that Ned Culkin the ganger, the next door 
neighbour of the Half-pay, was a thorough-going, 
incorrigible toper ? 

The Colonel's next-door-but-one neighbour was 
Tom O'Loughlin. Tom was a scion of what is 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 103 

called ^a good family." He was but a younger 
son of a younger branch, yet he had inherited a 
moderate independence. While this lasted, Tom 
was a gay, dashing, sans soud blade. He rode 
steeple-chases; he betted like a fellow of spirit, 
taking any odds offered ; he raked, and drank, and 
sported, without a single glance beyond the excite- 
ment of the hour^ thus leading, as he himself reck- 
lessly expressed it in his £sivourite toast, ^' a short 
life and a merry one!" 

All this ended as it needs must end. And now 
Tom O'Loughlin inhabited the most dilapidated 
of the shabby-genteel houses above the bridge ; that 
immediately adjoining Ned Culkin's residence. 

Tom O'Loughlin was avoided by every one, be- 
cause he would fain beg or borrow of every one. 
He had none but chance resources left ; such pre- 
carious aid as his plagued relatives bestowed on him. 
His attire was always old and ill assorted, made up 
of odds and ends of clothing flung to him. In 
person he was lean, and seemed diminutive from the 
crouching bend of his body. His head was sunk 



104 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

between his lahoulders ; his hands were almost con- 
stantly passing through each other at his chest, not 
far below his chin. There was a self-depreciating 
meekness in his tone of voice as he spoke, and the 
wrinkles of his face had taken the expression of an 
insmuating grin. Even in his ejttreme poverty, the 
desire for indulgence had not left him, and he would 
ingratiate himself wherever his subserviency up ight 
lead to gratification. Tom O'Loughlin was known 
in the " Town of the Cascades " as " the decayed 
gentleman." And to the credit of the inhabitants 
be it recorded, that the poor wretch was regarded 
rather as an object of commiseration than of censure. 
These three near neighbours, — the Half-pay, Ned 
Culkm the ganger, and Tom O'Loughlin, " the 
decayed gentleman," were three great cronies. 



105 



CHAPTER XI. 

BICHABD O'mEARA's CLIENT. 

When introducing him to notice, I have said that 
Richard O'Meara was a splendid man. And so he 
was. 

"If you met him walking down there," said 
Michael Hanrahan to me, pointing at the same 
time to the promenade oppodte the little Bomoch 
hotel, " if you met him walking abroad there, you 
couldn't but take a liking to him. He didn't 
swagger and want to pass himself off as a grandee, 
like the Fomeyaghs that's strutting so pompous 
there this moment. No here's the way he went — 
this way — " 

And Michael held himself up, took the cane from 



106 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

my hand, held it gingerly between his fingers, 
pointed his toes, extended his large lips to a plea- 
sant simper, and slid along before me with all the 
grace of motion he could assume. 

" Tou couldn't for the life of you pass him by," 
continued Michael, handing me back my cane, 
" without, I'd say, falling in love with him. And I 
never wondered at the poor misthress, God be good 
to her, to dote upon him, which she did to her 
dying day. He was a grand fellow entirely, and 
then he had such a pleasant smile, and such a plea^ 
sant word always, and he was such a hearty, good- 
natured fellow, besides all that, that you'd wish him 
all sorts of good luck every time you'd cross him." 

Richard O'Meara was the son of one of those 
called ^' gentleman-farmers," a class not uncommon 
in Ireland. Old Mr. O'Meara was desirous that 
his favourite son should make his way in the world, 
and with this view he had educated him well, and 
had given him the profession of an attorney, or 
solicitor, whichever may be the proper term. Two 
years before he had brought his bride to the cottage 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 107 

near the cascades he had begun to practise as the 
attorney of the district 

As the result of my inquiries, I have ascertained 
that owing to his personal endowments, his un- 
doubted capacity, and his known high principles, 
he began the world with every fair prospect before 
him. Yet, up to the period of his marriage, Richard 
O'Meara had gained but little permanent standing 
in his business. He was too gay a fellow for the 
drudgery of the desk or for steady application. 
From personal liking, people wished to employ him, 
but they paused before intrusting their serious con* 
cems to his care. It was not at the race-course or 
other place of public amusement, that law-papers 
could be put in training; nor did his nocturnal 
orgies prepare his head for the routine labour of his 
office. 

Occasionally in matters of importance, parti- 
cularly where display was to be made, Richard 
O'Meara would apply himself to become master of a 
particular case, and at the sessions-court, or other 
local tribunal, he would exhibit first-rate ability, and 



108 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

80 gain high applause. And he was popularly 
regarded as a first-rate advocate. 

There was a degree of Quixotism very rare in the 
profession often guiding our young solicitor in his 
practice. Whenever the great oppressed the humble, 
whenever the rich was against the poor, Richard 
O'Meara was found to be at the weaker side. And 
on such occasions he brought to bear a resolution, 
an energy, and a talent that showed what he was 
made of when he wished to work. It would appear 
that the less his client had it in his power to recom- 
pense him, the more ardent and enthusiastic was he. 
This tendency of his did not certainly evince great 
worldly prudence, and sunk him very low in the 
estimation of his brethren of the sessions-court, as 
being unprofessional in every sense. 

Different persons attributed different motives to 
Richard O'Meara. Some said that his frequent 
advocacy of the poor arose from the generosity of 
his nature, which rose up in combat against what- 
ever had the appearance of oppression. This was 
Michael Hanrahan's opinion. But this judgment 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADESL 109 

was repudiated by others who insisted there could 
not be such a quality as generosity found in combi- 
nation with an attorney's] nature ; that even if such 
a weakness had originally existed, it must have been 
pulled up, root and branch, during the term of ap- 
prenticeship. So another cause was assigned for 
Richard O'Meara's singular propensity. It was said 
that he had been slighted by the " gentry " in his 
endeavours to keep pace with them, and that he 
** had a sting in for them." 

Richard O'Meara's proceedings, whajtever their 
motive may have been, had procured for him the 
title of " the poor man's attorney." 

In a neighbouring county lived at this time an 
orphan girl. Her father had been long dead, her 
mother more recently, and she was, though well- 
descended on both sides, in extreme poverty. It 
was said that a considerable dowry was withheld 
from her by a relative living far away, and that 
through some legal quibble. The poor girl had not 
means to assert her rights. Richard O'Meara be- 



110 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

came ax^cidentally acquainted with her; she was 
very beautiful and winning, and he soon loved her. 

He may have been the poor man's advocate from 
generous impulse, according to Michael Hanrahan 
and others kindlily disposed towards him, or to 
satisfy a waspish nature by bestowing his sting here 
and there, as was on the other hand asserted. But 
here love was the motive-power. And love is a 
wonderful propeller. 

He gained the orphan's suit, and in an instant, I 
may say, she was rich— comparatively rich. 

While acting for this client, the intercourse be- 
tween them was necessarily constant. Gratitude 
was in the girl's heart ; gratitude and love are of 
close kindred ; gratitude is often, as in the present 
instance, no more than a purveyor to love. The 
transfer from the one to the other is quickly and 
readily perfected. There is no need for documen- 
tary interference, or for legal technicality, or legal 
tardiness. And the orphan loved the talented, and 
thoughtful, and assiduous, and successful, and hand- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. Ill 

flome young solicitor to whom she owed the recovery 
of her dower. 

" Dear Mr. O'Meara," said Ellen McMahon, with 
tears in her soft eyes, " I can never — never thank 
you. But I am indeed grateful, deeply gratefiiL" 

She impulsively extended her hand to the person 
she addressed, and raised her tearful eyes to his. 
But those eyes, consequent on something they met 
in his, fell instantly, and love, as he often does, 
coloured her face deep crimson. And then, by 
another fantastic proceeding not unusual to him, he 
took away every drop of blood from her face, and set 
poor gentle Ellen trembling. She thought she ought 
to withdraw her hand, for very sensibly she felt that 
the young solicitor pressed it fervently. But here 
again love took it upon him to act arbitrarily. He 
seized her arm, and held it outstretched, while the 
hand remained where she placed it. 

" I am not deeply grateful. Miss McMahon," 
answered her solicitor. And his rich, full voice was 
without one sharp, business-like intonation to qualify 
its mellow touch of " brogue." 



112 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES.' 

"I am not grateful," he repeated, **and I have 
no reason to be grateful." 

The client's eyes looked up again to inquire the 
meaning of these words, but they fell even more 
promptly than before. 

''You do not understand my meaning, I see. 
But listen. I have done you a trifling good, not 
worthy of your deep gratitude however. In return, 
how have you acted? You have made me your 
captive for life — ^is this a fit return for even so slen- 
der a service as I have rendered you ? Why then 
should I be grateful?" 

The speaker felt the little hand quiver in his 
grasp. But was that a smile the solicitor in a new 
cause saw curving Ellen's lips ? 

"Mr. O'Meara," she softly began. And then 
she paused, and paused, courage failing her to pro- 
ceed. 

"I await your plea, my fair client," said the 
solicitor. Still no answer, until the silence became 
embarrassing. 

''MissMcMahon," at length the solicitor said, '' I 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 113 

will quit all light allusion to the subject I have 
lightly commeDced. Be seated for a moment, and 
hear me." 

He gently placed her in a seat, and took another 
beside her. He did not part with the passive little 
hand however. It would have been manifestly un- 
professional to do so ; — " Possession is nine points 
of the law," you know. 

" Even before your suit commenced I loved you ; 
perhaps my ardency in your cause was owing to this. 
But I forbore awhile to urge my affection because it 
might appear as though I were seeking to make my 
advocacy conditional with you. I came to the resolve 
that when I had succeeded, as I was determined to 
do, I would depart, and try to live down a love that 
might seem interested and mercenary. But this 
resolution I cannot keep. Before Heaven I declare 
that had you remained poor, had my exertions in 
your cause been unsuccessful, I would have sought 
your love as the most precious thing on earth. Ellen, 
will you, with full confidence in my motives, bestow 
it on me now ?" 

VOL. I. I 



114 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

What said the little hand, and what the tremulous 
lips, and timid eyes, I need not expatiate upon. 
Was it not Ellen McMahon we have seen brought 
as Richard O'Meara's bride to the Cottage of the 
Cascades? 



115 



CHAPTER XII. 

HISTORY OF THE WONDERFUL LEG. THE LILIPUTLA.N 
ARMY. 

Almost immediately foUowiug the establishment of 
the Half-pay in my " Town of the Cascades," he was 
universally known, and, as I learned, the object of 
universal good will. 

** Michael told me," said Mary Hanrahan, " that 
down to the dogs an' cats, an' the cocks an' hens, 
an' the ducks an' geese, — all had a regard for the 
poor Half-pay. The sparrows themselves made 
freer with him than with anybody else. Ay, an' I 
heerd farther than that same : I heerd that if he 
held up his wooden leg they'd hop on it when they 
came to pick up the crumbs he'd give them. But 



116 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

that last was a fable, I'm sure. Michael didn't give 
credit to it, an' neither did I " 

Between one and two in the afternoon of each 
day the Half-pay was seen descending the uneven 
way from his little shabby-genteel residence, delving 
the wooden leg into the crumbling surface to secure 
himself against accidents. Then he proceeded to 
the bridge, whereon he took up his position. 

"He was never earlier," said Mary Hanrahan, 
" than between one and two o'clock. * Early to bed 
an' early to rise,' you know ; and becoorse, late to bed 
is late to rise. An' if ' the early bird catches the 
worms,' the Half-pay didn't catch a worm while he 
was amongst us. Ned Culkin the gauger, an' Tom 
O'Loughlin the decayed gentleman, an' himself, 
used to sit over their tumbler till all hours — ^that 
was all the harm in the poor man. Be the same 
token there was a name for Ned Culkin the gauger 
besides his own. People used to call him ' Seldom 
Solerr' 

When the Half-pay reached the bridge after " his 
night over his tumbler," he generally looked down 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 117 

earnestly, as if to make sure that the cascades 
were tumbling with their usual vigour, and that 
nothing was wrong with them. Then he gazed at 
both banks, and then as far as he could carry his 
eyes down the water. He was usually provided 
with a few pebbles to shy at any trout that happened 
to break the surface below him ; it was not recorded, 
however, that he had succeeded in hitting a single 
fish. When the Half-pay's duty was so far dis- 
charged, he would wheel round, and placing his 
back to the parapet of the bridge, he would scruti- 
nize the passengers as intently as if he were a 
detective on duty. 

If a well-looking girleen tripped by, he placed the 
forefinger of his left hand in contact with the peak 
of his beaver, and screwed his left eye into a hkrd 
wink. If a female of respectable class passed him, 
he placed the edge of his open left hand above the 
peak, and did not wink. If one of still better grade 
came, he raised his beaver, and with a rapid twist of 
his right wrist, brought his cudgel to a present arms. 
In return the Half-pay received merry smiles, familiar 



118 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

nods, and gracious bows, — as the case might be, 
and suitable to the person acknowledging his salute. 
With some of his own sex he shook hands ; with 
others he was more distant in his greetings ; few 
went by, however, without some mark of recognition 
on his part. 

When verbally saluted with "Good morrow and 
good luck to you, Colonel," or some such accost, he 
returned a verbal answer — a very concise one, how- 
ever. The " Good morning to you kindly, So-and- 
So," which another man would have used he had 
contracted to a monosyllable once or twice repeated, 
according to his appreciation of the person. It was 
either " Maw," or " Maw — ^maw — ^maw." 

Nor did the Half-pay confine his notice to the 
, gTown-up passengers on the bridge. Not one child 
scampered by him that he did not tap on the head 
with his cudgel, not so hard as to hurt him, but 
quite hard enough to make him pause in his race 
and look back at him in astonishment. At first he 
puzzled them, one and all. As they opened their 
eyes, and stared at him in wonder, to ascertain 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 119 

whether he was friend or foe, the assailant, with 
erect neck and closely-clasped teeth, would be 
observed straining his eyes after some £Bur-off object 
up the water, and beckoning as if to some one at a 
distance. 

This clever deception was not however of long 
continuance. Little heads were laid together, spies 
were set ; very shortly the Half-pay was convicted, 
on undeniable testimony, of being the assailant of 
the juvenile discoverers. And with childish acute- 
ness it was understood that the taps were given in 
play only. As soon as this conclusion was arrived 
at, war was declared, and plans were devised for 
carrying on hostilities. Keeping beyond the reach 
of the cudgely forces were mustered, defiance was 
proclaimed. The stoutest and nimblest of the 
urchins were detached, to creep cautiously and 
pluck the enemy by the skirts, the successful on- 
slaught to be followed by an immediate retreat to 
the shouting comrades who shared the glory of the 
enterprise. Following such assaults, the Half-pay 
would bounce and whirl his cudgel, as Orlando 



120 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Furioso would have done. So bold did the assail- 
ants become that one daring little fellow, armed 
with as heavy a bludgeon as he could wield, stole, 
Indian-like, on the apparently unwatchful foe, and 
inflicted a terrible bang on — the wooden leg. The 
fi[alf-pay immediately stooped, and chafed the mem- 
ber, and moaned, as it were, with pain, and fiercely 
brandished his weapon, and looked as if he were a 
Gulliver, ready and willing to swallow the entire 
throng of screaming, prancing Liliputians. 

Except they were altogether new-comers, the 
Half-pay could not henceforth get one head within 
reach of his blackthorn; he could not make one 
prisoner to retain as hostage ; he could stump fast 
enough to the assault ; in a hand-to-hand struggle 
he must have been the victor. But this proved to 
be a guerilla campaign against a regular army. 
The enemy retreated instantly on his approach, to 
renew the attack when opportunity ofiered. 

Thus beset, unable to bring the foe to close 
quarters, the Half-pay hit upon a piece of generalship 
worthy of him. Amongst a collection of old iron 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 121 

offered for sale he discovered a rusty blunderbuss- 
barrel. He got part of his wooden leg sawn off, 
and the blunderbuss-barrel substituted. The original 
touch-hole at the side being plugged up, another 
was bored uppermost instead. A wooden plug was 
fitted to the muzzle to be inserted and withdrawn 
at pleasure. And the leg being thus rendered 
composite, part wood, part iron, the owner issued 
from the smith's forge in Bow-lane accoutred for 
combat 

The first discharge of this piece of ordnance 
(loaded with powder only) scattered the guerillas in 
every dbection, and at length a prisoner was cap- 
tured. The little rascal, so brave before, squalled 
within the grip of the remorseless captor. He was 
led in durance to an apple-stall at the foot of the 
bridge, and every available opening in his uniform 
was stuffed with rosy fruit. Thus disgraced he was 
suffered to prance away, as nimbly as his freight 
allowed him to progress. 

The very next battle the conquering Half-pay had 
as many prisoners in his keeping as he could take 



122 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

charge of. Ultimately he was forced to confine his 
captures to one enemy each engagement — so ex- 
pensive was it to provision them for their subsequent 
march. 

Not only did this general defeat his enemies, but, 
following the example of the ancient Romans, he 
took them into his alliance to a certain extent 
For his former foes sought it as a desirable privilege 
to be allowed to fire off the composite leg that had 
created such consternation at the outset. And 
expert gunners some of them became, as was shown 
in my description of the cannonading at the bonfire. 

I should add that no matter whether the Half-pay 
winked at the pretty girls, or saluted others accord- 
ing to station ; or shook hands with some men, or 
said "Maw!" to more; — while he stood on the 
bridge, or stumped through the streets ; whether he 
fought battles, gained victories, or captured prisoners, 
the Half-pay spoke little, and never laughed. Never- 
theless, it was shrewdly guessed that between his 
lips and hard-closed teeth a good deal of silent 
laughter went on ; that he internally laughed at his 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 123 

urchin foes, and internally laughed with high relish 
at the impenetrable mystery in which he had con- 
trived to envelop himself — impenetrable to the 
keenest scrutiny of the dwellers in my " Town of the 
Cascades." 



124 



CHAPTER XIII. 

PAIR ELLEN, HER THREE KNIGHTS, AND HER 
ATTENDANT MAIDEN. 

When Richard O'Meara said to his Ellen that he 
would have wooed her in poverty, for the treasure 
of herself, he but spoke his real sentiments. He 
was not one to utter falsehoods, even to a girl, as 
many "honourable" fellows will think it very fine 
to do. 

That his love for Ellen McMahon was real and 
sincere, there is no question. Constitutionally ardent 
and impetuous, his afiPection for her was as warm and 
deep as such a nature could bring forth. 

He was a disinterested fellow, too, incapable of 
taking a mean advantage of any one. And that 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 125 

his love for Ellen was nowise mercenary, he fiilly 
proved, even to the most suspicious. Previous to 
the marriage ceremony, the bride's dowry, which I 
may say he had bestowed upon her, he secured 
to herself, every penny of it, sure and fast. This 
might be about three thousand pounds in funded 
property ; and the income thence accruing was pay- 
able to her alone. 

Ellen McMahon was all heart, but there was no 
self-reliance in her character, no self-assertion, no 
self-sustainment. Her every look was an appeal for 
aid and protection. From all I could learn, the 
faultless, manly person of Richard O'Meara had 
fascinated her eye ; his generosity and services had 
given him her love. 

Another in Ellen's position would have felt there 
were certain unpleasantnesses to be borne as Richard 
O'Meara's wife. 

Previous to his marriage, Richard O'Meara the 
attorney ambitioned, as I have hinted, to keep pace 
with men of station and fortune who were his 
chance companions at the race-course or other places 



126 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

of public amusement. But he found that although 
he and such high folk were on good terms generally, 
he received no encouragement as a visitor at their 
houses, or in their family circles. Just the con- 
trary. Prudent jperes de famiUe^ or more prudent 
mothers, would not place so fine a young fellow on 
a footing of dangerous intimacy with their daughters. 
Hence the " sting " which it was supposed he kept 
in reserve for aristocratic suitors in the local courts. 
Persons of the middling class resented the attorney's 
assumption of superiority. With these he had no 
footing ; neither did he seek it. 

For these reasons Ellen O'Meara, when she had 
taken possession of her Cottage of the Cascades, 
had no female companions. There were no bridal 
visitings, no bridal entertainments, no bridal fiiss or 
pleasant bustle. But Ellen CMeara did not feel 
this isolation a privation. It was her nature to 
shrink from the glaring sunshine, and to bloom 
sweetest in the shade. Her husband's sustaining 
love was suflScient for Ellen O'Meara. With his 
arm to lean on, with his smile to greet her, and his 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 127 

jocund humour to elicit her silvery laughter, she did 
not pine for foreign associations. 

Besides, Ellen could command the services of 
three knights as devoted as knights could be, and 
of one attendant maiden, whose fidelity and attach- 
ment were not to be surpassed. 

The first of these faithful knights was Michael 
Hanrahan. Second to Michael Hanrahan I will 
place the mastiflT, Teague. Third in order was our 
friend the Half-pay, who was a knight after a 
chivalry of his own. And the devoted maiden was 
Mary Malone, the chief narrator of the circum- 
stances I am relating. 

So that, although without visitors, and leaving 
the all-engrossing attachment between husband and 
wife out of the question, Ellen did not regard her 
life as a solitary one. The three knights I have 
named and the one attendant maiden were* in- 
fluenced in their devotion to her by her beauty, by 
her dove-like gentleness, and very probably by her 
timid dependenca And the knights were quite 
ready to encounter giants, dragons, ogres, or any 



128 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

other odds, as was the maiden to suffer, for her 
behoof. 



It is an enticing day. The sun is smiling down 
upon the river, and the river, as it dimples onward, 
smiles in return up to the sun. The sun's rays are 
refracted into the prismatic colours in their passage 
through the medium of the waterfalls. The winged 
breeze is gamboling through the foliage, and 
chequers the green sod with dancing light and 
shadow. It is a day to enjoy a refreshing saunter : 
one is urged to it just as the linnet that has been 
constructing its nest in the garden-hedge is im- 
pelled to vault upward and downward, and to flutter 
joyously in ether. 

Ellen O'Meara stood on the threshold of her 
cottage, and looked abroad. The breeze, as it flew 
by, kissed her cheeks and forehead, and fondled 
with her auburn curls. The dog Teague was 
seated without : anon he looked full into the face 
of his lady ; then he turned his eyes upward, as if 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 129 

scanning the firmament ; then he capered a sedate 
caper, looked over the right shoulder, and over the 
lefty sat him down again, and fixed his full gaze 
on the object of his devotioa The dog's meaning 
was manifest : " Let us fetch a walk by the water- 
side, fair mistress : it will be very pleasant. And, 
my word for it, we shall have no rain to-day." 

At this juncture, Michael Hanrahan entered the 
garden by the green wicket at the right-hand side. 
Michael was bareheaded, and he was, as Mary ex- 
pressed it, ^' humming a dhass" As soon as he ob- 
served the lithe form standing beneath the festooned 
porch, he wheeled sharp round ; with both his palms 
he smoothed his front, gave the locks at his temples 
a twist round his finger, scraped his large whiskers 
forward after the manner of a rabbit dusting the sand 
from its jaws, and then he wheeled round again, 
his expansive lips dressed in their broadest simper. 

Michael stepping gingerly along, approached his 
"posy." 

" Ma'am," he said, bowing to her, " I'm afther 
discoorsing Master Dick round at the office. As 

VOL. I. K 



130 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

busy as a bee in a paddock he isr— and more of that 
to him is my prayer. He can't leave the job he's 
at, Ma'am, and he sent his compliments and his love 
by me, Ma'am. And, Michael," says he, " tell the 
posy—" 

" The v;Aa<, Michael?" 

'' Ha, ha 1 That was a slip of the tongue, Ma'am. 
'Tis so often on my lips that they're used to it. It's 
only the name we have for you. Ma'am, Mary and 
myself. And sure you are the posy of our garden 
— the posy of posies I But you won't be dis- 
pleased, Ma'am, against us for calling you so ?" 

*'Who would be displeased, Michael, at being 
called by such a pretty name ?" 

"Well, but it wasn't the posy Masther Dick 
called you. Ma'am. < Michael,' says he, ' tell Mrs. 
O'Meara from me to go take a walk by the river- 
side. And let you and honest Teague walk before 
her, Michael,' he says in his pleasant way, *and 
don't let Saint Pether if you meet him look cross at 
her. And let Mary Malone walk out too,' says 
Masther Dick, ^ 'tis a fine day for it, Michael, and 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 131 

• 

there will be health in it for ye all So be off as 
fiist as ye can,' says he to myself." 

"I was thinking of a stroll myself, Michael," an- 
swered the posy, "and since Mr. O'Meara wishes 
it, we had better set off as he desires us." 

Michael was on the alert instantly. Mary was 
summoned to attend her mistress, and very shortly 
they were ready to set out. Michael furnished 
himself with a long staff, his pony, as he called it, 
too long to be leant on, and which he grasped after 
the fashion of our grandmothers, now, they tell me, 
creeping in amongst their modish great-grand- 
daughters. He and Teague took the front rank, 
" the posy " following, Mary a step behind. Michael 
stepped out with the air of a herald, and after a 
gambol or two Teague fell into his staid, business 
trot. 

" Michael marched along as proud as a paycock," 
said Mary to me, " an' if you saw the care he took 
of us, you'd be plaised at it. * Not too near the 
water there. Ma'am,' he'd say ; ' the bank is slip- 
pery.' *A little damp just there, Ma'am,' he'd 



132 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

say; *step over it/ An' he'd dhraw a criss-cross 
with his wattle to mark where the damp was on the 
path. If the bough of a tree hung low, he'd pull it 
to one side, an' with a nice bow, like any gentleman, 
he'd keep it out of the way until we'd pass by. An' 
when our posy would say, as soft as a turtle-dove, 
* Thank you, thank you, Michael,' my poor Michael 
would lean his two hands upon his wattle — that he'd 
put slanting, — an' he'd kick up his two heels behind^ 
as high as his head (I couldn't show you how he done 
that, you know), an' away before us he'd scamper like 
a buck, to keep hurt or harm out of our way. If a 
flower was growing up on a bank, or down in a 
hollow, an' that he thought it purty to look at, up 
he went like a mad cat, or down he darted like a 
weazel, to pluck it for our posy. An' if you'd seen 
how handsome he'd make his ofiering, indeed an 
indeed you'd have a liking for him, though you were 
hb enemy I 

" An' the poor Teague," continued Mary, her 
face lighting up brilliantly as her memory reflected 
back past sunshine, ^Hhat was a dog with more 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 133 

knowledge than many a Christian I knew in my 
time. If you saw how he watched Michael cutting 
his capers, an' if you heard him saying, * Wow — wow 
— ^wow,' without barking at all, you'd undherstand 
him to mean quite plain, * Well done, Michael, my 
boy !' Ay, an' the honest dog must give pleasure 
to tiie posy too, his ownself. He'd bring his bit of 
stick an' he'd lay it down at her feet, an' he'd cut 
a curry -whibble round, an' look at the wather. An' 
we'd all know he was saying without words ; * I can 
swim aqual to any duck, wouldn't you like to see me 
at it?' Then the posy would pitch the stick about 
half a yard or so ; she couldn't pitch it farther, the 
crature — ^an' you'd almost laugh to see the great job 
she made of that same. Then 'twas mighty pleasant 
to hear the pullaloo of joy coming ifrom the dog, an' 
in he'd toss himself from the high bank, an' come back 
to lay his bit of stick down at the posy's feet again, 
looking as proud as a lord, the poor fellow. An' 
indeed you'd wondher to look at him when we met 
a sthr^ger coming the way. Teague would march 
before us an' keep his eye dose on the watch until 



134 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

the person passed a good piece off, — as much as to 
say, ' Don't touch our posy for your life !' Poor 
Teague ! — poor Teague ! 

" An' then there was the Half-pay too. Far we 
didn't go on our way until there was aloud shot, that 
made the posy an' myself cry out an' jump a-one- 
side. * 'Tis the Half-pay,' says Michael, lookin' 
back at us. Michael had managed, as I found out 
afterwards, to put up the Half-pay to the knowledge 
that we were to go a-walking, an' of the way we 
were to go. An' sure enough, the very next turn 
we came to, there was the Half-pay. You'd think 
there was a rod of iron down through his neck, an' 
into his back-bone, he stood up so sthraight. An' 
if you didn't know him, you'd suppose he was ready 
to bite you, he looked so glum, an' stared so wicked. 
While we passed him he took off his hat an' held it 
up high, an' he stuck his stick out before him. Our 
posy bowed her head to him very handsome to see, 
an' says she, * Good day to you, Cumel.' An' the 
Half-pay made answer in a way of his own :-** Maw 
— ^maw — Ma— dame!' he says to her. Curious 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 135 

enough it happened — six times at the least, before we 
came to the end'; of our walk, the Half-pay met us, 
every time we met him he was standing as stiff as 
before, every time his hat off an* his stick out before 
him, an' every time what he said was * Maw — ^maw 
— ^Ma — dame !' With only one leg, as I may say, 
to his body, he circumvented us some way, although 
we had two good legs apiece undher us, an' Teague, 
had four to hb own share. Wasn't it curious, Sir ?" 
asked Mary, smiling her arch smile. 

"Was the Colonel in love with your *posy,' 
Mary?" 

. ** Not very far from it, in my honest judgment. 
Sir," answered Mary. " An' then, my dear," she 
went on, " when we were coming back, who should 
we see running to meet us but Masther Dick his 
ownself. Did you ever see a young horse prancing 
through a pasture, frolicking along with his head up, 
and his mane straining, an' his eyes flaming an' 
dancing in his head ? Well he put me in mind of 
the young horse as he came towards us, an' 'twould 
delight your very heart to see our posy springing 



136 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

like a young deer to meet him. An* then they went 

arm-in-arm together^ like a happy couple, as they 

were." 

" What became of you then, Mary ?" 

"Why, Sir, I fell into the rear rank, as the 

sodgers say — alongside of my poor Michael an' his 

wattle." 

" Much against your will, to be sure, Mary." 

** No, indeed, honey — with a heart an' a half, to 

tell you the honest thruth. 
"Oh!" said Mary, "this was one day out of 

many happy days, when sunshine was around us in 

the darkest weather. 'Twas a sorrowful thing the 

sunshine wasn't to last" 
And Mary's smile was one of sad retrospection. 



137 



CHAPTER XIV. 

MICHAEL AND HIS FOSTER-BROTHER. 

Michael Hanrahan's attachment to Richard 
O'Meara was uncompromising, ardent, and unselfish. 
Michael was not a servant, properly so called, and 
yet, without making any terms, he had taken upon 
him all the duties, and more than the duties, of a 
servant ; no quid pro quo obligations on either side. 
This to some may appear strange, and will 
doubtless make Michael's pretension to worldly 
wisdom problematical. I do not think Michael 
could boast the possession of an overstock of ^^ la 
sagiesse du monde " the day he ^^ kicked up his heels " 
while attending his " posy," as described by Mary 
in the last Chapter. Nor do I think that up to this 



138 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

hour he can be said to carry a sufficient ballast of 
good sense, taking the term ^^ good sense " as it is 
commonly understood, — a due foresight of one's own 
interests before the interests of any one else, and a 
due preference of the same. For all that it is my 
judgment that a counterpart of honest Michael would 
be worth to any of my friends, good wages, good 
board, good lodging, good clothing, kind treatment, 
and full trust and esteem. 

In his natural disposition he was affectionate and 
cheerfiil; in presence of piper or fiddler he was 
hilarious. From culture he was virtuous and es- 
chewed evil, yet his ethics were shallow. His well 
was not, so to speak, deep, and yet I assert that he 
was nearer the truth than if a plummet were required 
to sound it It is a question with me if the astute 
philosopher who can measure the divine precept by 
the law of nature, and who can hold a balance, as it 
were, in which to weigh the questions of right or 
wrong to a nicety, be as good a man. Michael 
accepted the divine law without poising it on his 
palm, satbfied with the impress of the coin. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 139 

Pray excuse this dissertation on Michael Hanra- 
haa When I meet such a one, I think the more of 
our common humanity. 

To say nothing, however, of Michael's inherent 
propensity, there was other good reason why he 
should exemplify his disposition in a particular way 
towards Richard O'Meara. Was he not, as I have 
said, Richard O'Meara's foster-brother ? — a tie of so 
many strands in Ireland, that legal two-edged 
swords, yclept Acts of Parliament, were found insuffi* 
cient in the olden time to sever it Richard O'Meara 
and Michael Hanrahan had grown up together, and 
now, at the time I write of, Michael was installed 
at the cottage, as a mere matter-of-course, acting 
as major-domo, friend, and servant. 

Michael Hanrahan it was who had superintended 
the preparations for the reception of the bride. 
Michael it was who had, with one exception, regu- 
lated the household. Michael it was who bad en- 
gaged Mary Malone as the special attendant of the 
new mistress. 

"Do you think, Mary," I inquired, "that he 



140 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

was altogether disinterested in his selection of 
you?" 

" Disinterested ? I don't exactly know the mean- 
ing of that word, Sir." 

" Well, I mean that perhaps his choice was made 
as much out of liking for yourself, as from his cer- 
tainty of your fitness for the post." 

"Ahl now I have you, Sir! — ^You think he 
pitched on me because he'd rather see me every 
day than be waiting for Sunday to come about?" 

** My very meaning, Mary." 

" An' upon my word an' credit, you were never 
more right in your life, Sir. Ah ! I see you're a 
man that has gumption, an' when you were young — 
if it's not making over free to say so — ^you used to 
coort a bit too, I'll be bound." 

" Everybody * coorts a bit,' as you call it, Mary." 

" An' some too much," said Mary, with her plea- 
sant laugh. 

That Michael Hanrahan was filled with admira- 
tion of his posy is certain — just such admiration, I 
take it, as was expressed towards Marie Antoinette 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 141 

of France by his countryman Burkei in the British 
Parliament But exclusive of his devotion to her 
beauty, and her gentle dependent nature, Michael's 
attachment was even of a higher character. He 
looked upon the young wife as the instrument^ to 
use his own expression, ** in the hands of God," for 
'the reclamation of the young man he loved, from 
the destructive career he had led even up to the 
period of his marriage. 

^^He was rushing headlong to owld Nick, God 
bless the hearers," was Michael's pithy conclusion 
to a rather lengthy statement of Richard O'Meara's 



^^ An' I was certain," he added, '^ as that I walked 
above ground, he could never jSnd it in his heart to 
give pain to the crature he loved so well. An' 
sure the love of a king, with a crown on his head 
an' a sceptre in his hand, wouldn't be one bit more 
than was her due I" 

'^ My heart used to bleed to see him," said Mi- 
chael another time, ^^an' for all that, although he 
disthressed me beyond measure, I couldn't quarrel 



142 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

with him, an' I should stick to him somehow, what- 
ever road he thravelled. I'll tell you one or two 
things now that happened them times — that is, before 
he was maJTied," 

I should perhaps remark here that occasionally 
Michael was the narrator of events, but more gene- 
rally Mary told me her story in the cliff " cobbey- 
house." 

" One night," said Michael, " one night out of 
the night afther night that he went on the batther, 
the poor fool, the cock was crowing for the dawn 
when he made his way home. To be sure he 
remained in bed until far in the day, and people 
were calling and calling about their law business, 
and no sign of my gentleman in his office. I think 
the less rubbing you have to an attorney the 
less holes will be in your jacket. But above all, if 
you h<we the misfortune to get into the clutches of 
one of 'em, let an acre or two be between you and 
a 'tumey that dhrinks or you'll have cause to repent 
A hundhred chances to one but he'll put the wrong 
end before, or tangle your skein in such a way that 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 148 

a score judges with their wigs on couldn't unravel it, 
and you'll be left in the lurch." 

'* Indeed^ Michael, the wisest way is to keep wide 
of the meshes of the law." 

^* That's as thrue a saying as ever came from 
Solomoa Well, to go on with my story. My 
fosther-brother, Masther Dick the 'tumey, had his 
net full of fools this time, and they were calling, 
and calling, and calling. I think I towld as many 
lies that morning, heaven forgive me, as if I was bred 
up to be an attorney myself, — and 'tis their thrade, 
you know. I was ready to cry down tears when I 
listened to the people complaining, and abusing, and 
scolding. 'Twould make a Turk sorrowful, to think 
that the handsome tip-top young man — ay tip-top 
in every way — should be ruining himself as he was. 
In the height of my throuble a thought came into 
my bead, I crept up the stairs very aisy, and I 
opened my lad's door as quietly as if I was a first- 
rate thief. 'Twas between one and two o'clock in 
the day then, and he was sleeping as sound as if bis 
eyelids were stitched together. I stole in on my 



144 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

tippy-toes, I made one bould grab, and off I scudded 
with every tack of the bed-clothes. I dropped 
them on the lobby a good distance from the room- 
door, and down stairs I scampered in hot haste to 
get out of harm's way. Then I peeped up through 
the bannisters to see what would come of it« As 
sure as I'm telling it to you, out comes my gentle- 
man blinking like an owl in the sunshine, and he 
takes up the bed-clothes again and carries them 
back with him, hugged tight in his arms, as if he 
was mighty fond of 'em. 

"Well, my dear, when I thought he was fast 
again, I crept up stairs the second time. The 
rogue didn't latch his door, thinking to entrap me 
— 'twas only closed, and I pushed it little by little 
until I got my head insida There he was, stretched 
to his full length, and the clothes tucked round him 
as snug as a thrush in his nest You'd swear he 
was as hard asleep as before, but I seen the upper- 
most eye give a couple of twinkles. ^Ha, ha! 
that's a fox's sleep, my lad,' says I to myself, and 
by the luck of the world I seen the nose of the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 145 

boot-jack just peeping out from the blankets, an' 
then I seen the same boot-jack stealing up half an 
inch at a time. Away with myself as fast as the 
legs could carry me ; an' well for me I did, for the 
head was only just at the wrong side of the door 
when whack comes the boot-jack with the sound of 
a cannon-ball, an' 'twas sent with a good aim to the 
very spot where the head was only half a second of 
time before. I don't think I'd be here to day clear- 
ing this tumbler and telling my story if I wasn't so 
quick." 

^' Rather a serious retaliation that for well-meant 
interference, Michael." 

^' When he made his appearance down stairs 
more than an hour afther, he said to me, in his 
own pleasant, smiling way, *I didn't intend to 
pelt at you, Michael, only to frighten the seven 
senses out of you.' But I didn't give credit to him. 
By my word 'tisn't all out safe to depend on a half- 
tipsy man at any time ; he'd give a brain-blow, 
maybe, an' call it a joke. But I couldn't fall out 
with the poor fellow at all somehow. 

VOL. I. L 



146 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" But I gave him a bit of my mind that day ;" 
— ^Michael laid down the tumbler he was rubbing at^ 
and he stood full in front of me. He stretched 
out his right arm, and protruded his ri^t leg, 
assuming an oratorical attitude; and there was 
earnestness, I would even say impresaveness^ in 
his look. 

^ I says to him as this : * Masther Dick/ says I, 
*I'm dead ashamed of you, and Fm grieved for 
you — ' 

''*More fool you, my good Michael,' he made 
answer. ' Kick the shame and the grief away from 
you,' he said, * they're very grum comrades to 
thravel with.' 

" * The road t/ou're thravelling/ I said, taking up 
his word, * won't bring you to luck or grace, or earn 
for you a good name.' 

" * For the matter of that, Michael,' he said to 
me, * the name I have is a very good one. Richard 
O'Meara is my name ; I'm come of a good ould 
stock, as you know, an' I don't desire a bettber 
name than my own.' 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 147 

" ' You'll disgrace it, Masther Dick/ was my an- 
swer, * if you don't turn yourself to another coorse. 
Mind ray warning, Masther Dick; if you follow 
on ; — on, on, on you'll go, until you'll sink deep into 
the black bog that you can't escape from if you 
were to kick the legs from your body thrying to get 
loose.' 

" * Michael Hanrahan,' he says, * I did not expect 
you would condemn your fosther-brother to be smo- 
thered in a bog-hole.' 

" ' I would save you, Masther Dick, if I had the 
power. You arc as well brought up a young man 
as walks on Ireland's ground; you're fit to go 
shouldher to shouldher with any lord if you'd mind 
yourself. But 'tis " welcome thrumpery, for want of 
company " with you. There's your business gone to 
ould Nickr— ' 

"*No wondher, Mick. Thai same gentleman 
always has a finger in the pie that's prepared in 
an attorney's oflSce — ' 

" * The money would be as plenty with you as the 
corn on the barn flure — ' 



148 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

** * Ay, when I had thrashed it out of my clients,* 
the rogue said. 

"* You don't want the sense,' I answered to him, 
* but you smother it with the liquor, and won't give 
it feir play. Masther Dick, Masther Dick, it's time 
for you to look about you, I can tell you !' 

" * I can do that at all events, Michael, whatever 
comes of it.' And he turned his head round about, * 
and round about, and looked in every direction. 
' I can follow your advice in that, at all events, 
Michael,' he said. 

"That was the way with him ever, an' always 
turning my words into a joke, an' still dhrinking, 
dhrinking. Whatever I could say or do had no 
effect. 

" 111 tell you what happened another day," con- 
tinued Michael, resuming the occupation he had for 
a time laid aside. 

" There was little money in the house, and where 
could it come from when there was no earning? — 
all going out, an' nothing coming in! * There's 
no use in your expecting breakfast here,' I said to 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 149 

Masther Dick, about three o'clock in the day, when 
he walked down stairs to me. ^ No tay in the tay- 
pot/ says I, * an nothing to buy it with, an' there's 
no bread or anything.' I turned the taypot upside 
down to prove to him 'twas empty. Matthers 
weren't so bad all out, to be sure, but it came into 
my mind 'twas a good way to tell him what I 
thought of his doings. He put on as solemn a face 
as if he was saying his prayers, though he was hum- 
bugging all the while. 

" * Here, Michael, my honest friend, take this,* 
he says, an' he hands me a sixpence. ^ Lay it out 
carefully,' he says; 'purchase one pennyworth of 
buttermilk in the market, this we'll divide between 
us, share an' share alike. Then provide two penny 
buns, to munch with the buttermilk, an' you an* I 
will breakfast gloriously. The change, threepence, 
will provide for to-morrow.' He took me by the 
arm, an' looked like a Solomon. 'The docthors 
say, Michael,' he says, *that the tay is a wishy- 
washy thing, an' buttermilk they praise to the skies 
for being wholesome. By breakfasting on butter- 



150 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

milk and penny buns, we'll cut our coats according 
to our cloth, an' we'll be healthful into the bargain/ 

^ Another time I came to him, * Masther Dick,' 
says I, ' look at the way I am/ An' I showed him 
my coat all in babby-rags. * We'll soon be without 
a stitch to cover us, an' afther a while we can't so 
much as show ourselves at mass, without disgracing 
ourselves. Body and soul we're doomed to suffer 
by the way you're going on.' 

" * Upon my honour,' he says, looking at me as if 
he was sorry at the heart's core, * upon ray honour, 
my poor honest Michael, you're like a plucked 
goose, surely. But I'll soon provide for you, and 
clothe you well. I'll make you turn out like a cock 
afther moulting. Hould here,' he says, an' he 
grips me by the collar before I could be on my 
guard of him ; no more than the man in the moon 
could I guess what he was about. I struggled hard 
to get loose, but I might as well expect to get from 
the jaws of a vice, he held me so tight. In no time 
my tattered coat was flying about in bits an' scraps, 
and while you could count six, his own long-tailed 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 151 

coat was on my back, my arms adiing from the 
mauling he gave mew 

*' ^ Now Michael Hanrahan,' says he, ^ you're fit 
to go to mass, an' to go a coorting afther mass is 
over, if you're in the humour.' And be gave me a 
slap between the shouldhers. I looked behind me, 
an' there was the tail of the coat scraping the ground 
a good distance in the rear of me. I felt the collar 
touching my poll up near the top of my head, and 
the ouffii were a mile cur so beyond the ends of my 
fingers. If the world was lost at the moment I 
couldn't help roaring out laughmg to see the show 
he made of me. ^^What are you laughing at, 
Michael ?' he says, * you're an out-an-out-dandy, I 
can tell you — such a dandy as you wouldn't see in 
the city of Dublin itself.' ' Faith 'tis you I believe,' 
says I, an' I laughed the louder, an' poor Masther 
Dick was obliged to laugh out too, although he did 
his best to keep a serious face on himself. And we 
both laughed together until our sides ached, to see 
me marching along with the coat-tails scraping the 
flure. 



152 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

"This was the way with him," Michael sadly 
remarked. " If I scowlded him, or if I thried to 
undhermine him, 'twas all the same. He turned 
everything into a joke ; there was never a cross 
word from him, no matther whether L was cranky or 
conthriving for bis good. But 'twas all the same, — 
no cure, no stoppage of the dhrink. 

^^ He took a start, as he sometimes did, and gave 
over his ways, when he took up the cudgels for Miss 
Ellen McMahon, wHo became his wife. I had my 
thrust in God, that by her means he might be 
turned from his sinfulness. Sorry, sorry am I to 
say that I was disappointed." 



153 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE KEG OF POTTEEN. — HOW NED CULKIN WAS MADE 
PURBLIND. 

As a general rule, the Half-pay, every night before 
he could get into bed, went through a perplexing 
contest with his composite leg. Occasionally he 
happened to undo the fgistenings with comparative 
fadlity; but when this occurred it was a lucky 
chance, and was an exception to the rule. For the 
most part he found the straps, and buckles, and 
ligaments sadly out of place, intricate and complex 
in their arrangements, and almost impossible to be 
traced and loosened. My own opinion is, that the 
degree of complexity, more or less puzzling as the 
case might be, depended not a little on the extent of 
potations indulged in previous to seeking his couch. 



154 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

A statue of Bacchus with such a leg as that sup- 
porting the Half-pay would be unclassical. But if I 
suppose such a limb attached to the body of the god 
of drunkenness, it would puzzle his divinity to un- 
strap it, as often as it puzzled the Half-pay, and 
from a like cause. 

One night, or rather morning, for the dawn was 
faintly tinting the sky from east to west, the Half- 
pay was engaged in one of these struggles with his 
leg. The buckles were not to be found where they 
had been at his uprise ; some one must have med- 
dled with the fastenings in the course of the day. 
Who could have tampered with him ? Where could 
the j»'actical jest have been executed ? Not on the 
bridge ? — No. Not in the street ? — No. Could it 
have been in the widow-woman^s back room, where 
he had spent a jolly night? — He rather thought 
not. But it might have been. 

Puffing very hot breath from him, as a result of 
his struggle, he paused to think over the affair. 
Was that loud single knock he heard connected with 
the prank played on him? — ^Another knock, — and 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 155 

another, — with an interval between each knock, aa 
if they were signal knocks. His head had been 
drooping, and he raised it His eyes had been 
closed, and he distended them. And he expanded 
his ears to listen. 

Knock — knock — ^knock — again. Where was the 
knocking? — Who was the knocker? — These mys- 
terious knocks were not given at his door. No. 
Were they against Ned Calkin's door ? He thought 
so. 

Knock — ^knock — ^knock — a third time, — ^three 
knocks each time — yes, he had reckoned them. 
Three times three, made six, — ^no, — nine. Ay, right, 
— nine knocks. Was that a door pulled open ? — Not 
his door, no, — Ned Culkin's door ; — almost sure of 
it, — ^he ought to know the creak of Ned Culkin's door. 
Ah ! — And what was that rolling along ? It sounds 
like a big cannon-ball rolling over a wooden bridge. 

Well! that is^ost singular, is it not? Where 
is the woodi^ bridge ? There is no wooden bridge 
in Ned Culkin's house — no— not one. And yet he 
knows by the hollow sound, that the rolling of the 



156 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

twenty-four-pound ball is across a wooden bridge. 
He'd swear to that at all events. There again I — 

It is Ned Culkin's door that has been banged to. 
So far there is a certainty. But the wooden bridge, 
and the twenty-four-pound ball — require explanation 
— ^require to be thoroughly examined into. There 
was a something in the business — some concealment 
^-«)me ambiguity — some mystery between nine 
knocks, Ned Culkin's door, the twenty-four-pound 
ball, and the wooden bridge. That he was solemnly 
bound before heaven and earth — Abound — to scruti- 
nize to the bottom. 

The Half-pay endeavoured to control the swaying 
of his head, thereby to interrupt the singing in his 
brain, that he might bring his steadiest faculties to 
bear on this momentous matter. He would not 
allow the question to remain in doubt. He would 
issue forth. He would institute a rigid scrutiny, 
and leave nothing doubtful as to knocks — knockee 
— ^Ned Culkin's door — twenty-four-pound ball — or 
wooden bridge. 

He stood up for the purpose of carrying out the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 157 

indispensable duty imposed on him, when his leg, 
most unaccountably, and of its own accord, separated 
from him and tumbled about. Of course he fell 
prostrate. It required considerable exertion and no 
small degree of ingenuity to arise and maintain his 
balance on the single member now remaining to him. 

The task of refitting the refractory and treache- 
rous limb that had so inopportunely deserted him^ 
he found to be a hopeless one ; so that after a few 
unavailing attempts, he abandoned perforce his 
laudable design of strict investigation, and tumbled 
into bed- In a very short time the occurrences of 
the day, together with the unexplained later events, 
became a mass of confusion in his brain, chasing 
each other in most perplexing complexity, and at 
times mingling together in an indescribable hodge- 
podge. 

The Half-pay had rolled himself up in his bed- 
covering about four o'clock of a spring morning. At 
two in the afternoon of the same day he had taken 
his usual stand on the bridge, with his back to the 
parapet, bestowing his salutations to the passengers, 



158 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

varied according to circumstances, as described in a 
previous Chapter. 

Through the centre window of the little house, 
next door but one to that inhabited by the Half-pay, 
Tom O'Loughlin "the decayed gentleman" thrust 
his head. Tom could look out of the centre window 
of his residence without delaying to raise the sasL 
Originally this window had had twelve panes of 
glass in it. From time to time, nine out of the 
twelve had been broken away ; three, therefore, only 
remained at the present writing. The three upper 
panes these were, and they had escaped fracture, as 
being most out of harm's way. So when Tom 
O'Loughlin wished to enjoy the breeze, or to note 
the occurrences without, his head was thrust as £Eur 
as the shoulders through the centre opening of the 
lowest tier but one, and generally both his arms 
were protruded at the same time through the spaces 
at either side, that his hands might meet and fondle 
each other as was their wont, beneath his chin. It 
will be understood from what is set down here that 
if an unglazed window gives an appearance of dilapi- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 159 

datioQ to a house, and causes besides an excess of 
ventilation at times, such a window is not neverthe- 
less without its recommendation. 

As the Half-pay stood on the bridge, the decayed 
gentleman looked from his pillory, and observing his 
friend where he expected to find him, he issued forth 
to join him. 

''A good morrow and the best of luck to you, 
Colonel," said the decayed gentleman. 

" Maw, maw," returned the Half-pay. 

" You're looking grand out-an'-out to-day. Colo- 
nel, and more of that to you I say," flattered Tom 
O'Loughlin. 

**Right— Weill— " 

'^ Sure I knew you were by looking at you, and 
right glad am I to see it. Believe my word for it, I 
am. Well — well — well. Hadn't we a great night 
out-an'-out last night?" 

"Jolly— jovial 1—" 

" Dick O'Meara is a grand fellow, entirely, en- 
irely, merry, and hearty, and good-natured. A 
prince of a fellow, by gog." 

** Fine— fellow !— " 



160 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

" Ay, every inch a good fellow ; — the heart in 
the right spot, Colonel, — and able to take his 
nourishment, Colonel, I can tell you. When he 
used to come among us, he never earned a curse for 
leaving his liquor behind him — never !" 

" Sound — stomach ? " 

"Sound as a trout. He was worth his weight 
in gold at our meetings round the festive board, 
until he was unfortunate enough to get married, 
the poor fool. His wife was making a stay- 
at-home-John of him. The Lord knows my heart 
bled for him ; — I pitied him ; indeed, indeed I 
did." 

And the decayed gentleman assumed a most 
lachrymose expression of face, and his tone was sad, 
very sad. 

«Why?— " 

** Well — to be sure he picked out a beautiful 
young wife — " 

" Lovely — creature !" and the Half-pay solemnly 
raised his beaver, and put it on again. 

** But, my poor, honest, hearty Dick O'Meara — I 
compassionate you for all that. Your handsome 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 161 

wife was making a sheelah of you ! But he'll come 
on again, Colonel, please goodness. He'll snap the 
apron-string, and be king of the Gregory once 
more I He didn't go far last night, to be sure, and 
made off before we began to spend the evening. 
But 'tis a good sign to see him leave the petticoat 
government at all." 

♦a— like— him ! " 

'* He is to be liked, by gog, and the more you 
meet him, the more ffra you'll have for him. 
Colonel, — 'twill be a little paradise within at Ned 
Culkin's for a good month or more." 

"How?" 

"Ah, ha! — Did you hear nothing last night 
before you lay down? — anything in this way?-^" 
The decayed gentleman gave three knocks with 
his knuckles against the Half-pay's chest. 

" Yes — yes !" — snapped the Half-pay eagerly ; 
and he, in turn, gave three separate punches down- 
wards — with his composite leg. 

"And something rolling along with a hollow 
sound ?' 

VOL. I. M 



162 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 



" Nine knocks in all ?" 

"Yes!" 

" Well ! Darby Kenealy give nine knocks at Ned 
Culkin's door to warn him that he was there — with 
a keg of his primest potteen I" 

"Ay!" 

" And when the door was opened, in rolled the 
keg along Ned Culkin's hall — ^all along to the back 
door it went — rolling." 

**Yesr 

" And then you may be sure Ned Culkin went to 
roost crowing like a game-cock." 

"I see." 

**You know, Colonel, that an * officer of the 
excise,' or a ganger, like Ned Culkin — ^the one 
means the other — ^is made near-sighted, like the 
best of us, by drinking potteen-punch, and could not 
see the still it came from if he had Lord Rosse's 
telescope." 

"I see. 1— seel" 

"And so Darby Kenealy gave nine knocks at 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 163 

Ned Culkin's door, and in rolled the keg of potteen 
when the door was opened. Ned Culkin stood well 
behind the door, and he didn't see Darby Kenealy 
at all, nor did Darby Kenealy see Ned Culkia 
But for all that Darby knew right well that he'd 
make the ganger purblind. And purblind he will be, 
and purblind you and I will be to keep him com- 
pany, as long as the keg of potteen has a thuoh in it." 

ai_geer 

" Isn't that good news, Colonel ? We'll have our 
skinful while it lasts. Night or day we won't be 
sober, please goodness 1 and we'll drink Darby 
Kenealy's health, and that he may live long, many 
and many a time — so we will !" 

"Right!" 

" Here's Ned Culkin himself coming down to us, 
and I'U bet ten to one — will you take me up, 
Colonel?" 

"No." 

"That we'll begin the boozing-match this very 
night." 

With a tottering step Ned Culkin joined the 



164 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

other two. He did not totter like a drunkard, but 
like one aflFected with paralysis. 

"Raw, could day," he said, although. the sun was 
shining blandly, and there was little breeze to 
temper the ardour of his ray& 

"Indeed and upon my word 'tis very sharp 
weather," assented the decayed gentleman, his 
thoughts fixed on the expected invitation to his 
*' little paradise." " Very sharp, cold weather it is, 
neighbour Culkin." 

"Hot— hot!" dissented the Half-pay. 

" I am shivering, every limb of me," said Ned 
Culkin, " and I'm could, down to the nails of my 
toes. Ufie — ^ufie! There's like an ague on me. 
Colonel?" 

"Well!" 

"We'll go down to Joe Darmod/s and have a 
glass of brandy to warm us. Will you come^ 
Curnel ? Will you come, Tom ?" 

" Come I" answered the Half-pay. 

"With a heart and a half," gleefully assented 
Tom O'Loughlin. 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 165 

" Before we go, Curnel," said Ned Culkin, " I 
want to tell you there will be a few friends with me 
in my poor cabin to-night. You'll be with me, 
Tom, won't you?" 

" ril have the honour and the pleasure,** replied 
Tom. 

" And you'll make one among us, Cumel ? I 
have some good stuff. You wouldn't find a head- 
ache in a hogshead of it You'll come, Cumel ?" 

"I will" 

" We'll be pleasant as pleasant can be, Curnel, 
And now we're off to Joe Darmody's.'* 

The three worthies set out together. Ned Culkin 
was obliged to cling to the Half-pay for support ; 
Tom O'Loughlin cringed and sidled beside them. 

There was a kind of wooden screen at the end of 
Joe Darmody's counter ; behind this Ned Culkin 
led the way. The brandy bottle was brought down 
to the three friends. Ned Culkin swallowed glass 
after glass until his " shivering of could " not only 
left him, but he became brisk, pert, and nimble. 
Tom O'Loughlin waxed more oleaginous of deport- 



166 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

ment every moment. And the Half-pay stared the 
more intently at every one until the bottle was 
emptied. 

Ned Culkin never paid for the brandy at Joe 
Darmody's. Why he did not, Joe Darmody and 
he knew best. 



167 



CHAPTER XVI. 

"LOVE IN A COTTAGE." 

For a year and eleven months — Michael Hanrahan 
was very precise as to the lapse of time, sore cause 
had he to remember that same — for a year and 
eleven months after the arrival of " the posy " at 
the Cottage near the Cascades, Michael Hanrahan 
was, to use his own words, ^' as happy a boy as 
walked undher the canopy of the sky/' 

And why should he not be happy ? The elements 
of happiness were within him. To begin with his 
own immediate concerns ; making all due allowance 
for the aberrations flesh is heir to, his life was a 
blameless life. His consdence might be said to 
hold almost a sinecure office. I might suppose that 



168 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

his conscience smiled rather than frowned when 
Michael went astray in his prayers at night, and 
with a denunciation of himself, said : ^' Bad manners 
to you, where are you galloping?" and paused, send 
began again. But there were no grounds of serious 
accusation after the day, so that Michael and his 
conscience were cordial bed-fellows; and Michael's 
monitor rather smoothed his pillow than otherwise. 

Then, as to his mundane afiairs. Was there not 
the blooming, wavy-haired Mary, with her ever- 
lasting smile, to meet him everywhere about the 
house, out in the fields, and on the mossy rock near 
the cascades ? Mary, pure of heart — and warm of 
heart too — ^made no concealment of her love for 
Michael Hanrahan. And if Michael Hanrahan did 
not love his Mary, — " nau locklish /" as we say in 
Ireland. 

"When you're in your coorting days," said 
Michael, "you're like a bird in the spring o' the 
year ; your heart is as light as a feather, and you're 
ready to fly if you only had wings." 

Furthermore, Mary and Michael were gathering 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 169 

feathers to feather their nest. Mary was saving 
her wages, and Michael was adding to the store, 
and Mary was cash-keeper to the firm. So that, 
if we go no farther than his personal concerns 
lead us, why should not Michael Hanrahan be " as 
happy a boy as walked undher the canopy of 
the sky r 

The least selfish of mortals, however, was Michael 
Hanrahan. But, to say nothing at all of the good 
terms between his conscience and himself, or of 
Mary's smile, and Mary's love, was not everything 
going on in the cottage, like as if ^^ twas in Paradise 
they were living ?" 

There was Richard O'Meara, attending to his 
business every day fi-om breakfast to dinner, as 
steady as a rock. 

At this point Michael put on a face half grave, 
half cynical. 

" Between you and I," he said, " 'tumey's work 
isn't the luckiest. When they set two people slap- 
ping at each other on what they call 'the green 
cloth,' but which is a dirty deal table, without a 



170 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

scrap of cloth on it of any colour, they put me in 
mind of the 'handlers' of cocks in a cockpit 
'Tisn't out of liking for the foolish, quarrelsome 
birds that they spur tHem, and cut their combs and 
gills, and clip their feathers, and make 'em fly at 
each other. And whatever way the battle goes, both 
of the cocks get clipped when 'tis over. Not to run 
away with the story, howsomever, Masther Dick 
wasn't a downright hawk of an attorney, like some 
that pluck the feathers out of every bird they catch 
or lay fingers on. He knew there couldn't be two 
heads or two harps on a halfpenny, and he didn't 
tell people they were right when he knew they were 
wrong. 

And notwithstanding the " 'tumey's work," 
matters went on swimmingly at the cottage. "Just 
as well as if Masther Dick was saying the litanies 
all day long in the oiBSce, by no manner of means 
likely to be." 

The joint description by Michael and by Mary of 
this period of Richard O'Meara's wedded life was 
specially minute. Both of them dwelt on the occur- 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 171 

rences of those halcyon days with a liking for the 
subject 

Almost invariably, Richard O'Meara was sum- 
moned to his dinner by "the posy" in person. 
She taps ever so gently against the glass of the 
oJBSce window, and with "a beck, and nod, and 
wreathed smile," invites him to join her. Whatever 
he is engaged on, is at once thrown aside, and 
almost instantly all trace of business gravity is left 
behind at the office desk, the arm of the invited is 
round his wife's waist, and they proceed together to 
the front of the cottage. On their way there is 
much chattering, and the voices are mirthful in their 
mingling. 

Nothing at all has happened to baby. Never — no; 
never — ^never was young mother blessed with such a 
darling, sweet, good-tempered little baby. And he 
is growing handsomer every hour ; he will be just 
such a fine fellow as his father, if God spares him 
to them. And, oh I may He in his love and mercy 
guard it I 

Oh, yes! the Colonel has been in to pay his 



172 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

daily visit. Yes, and he said, " Maw — maw, — Ma — 
dame!" when he came, and "Maw — maw, Ma — 
dame !" again at his departure. Not one other word 
did he utter, though he remained half an hour ; and 
he never removed his eyes from the baby but once 
while he remained ! It was very plain he was fond 
of it, — but who could see the darling, lovely little 
fellow without loving him ? 

And when Mary, and baby, and baby's mother 
had gone out for their walk, they had had their 
wonted three or four more salutations from the dear 
old Colonel, as usual, at different points on their 
route. And, oh! never did anything agree with 
baby like the fresh air from the water. It was a 
Teal pleasure to look at his lovely little face coming 
back, rosy as a peach-apple, and fresh as a rosebud ! 
etcetera, etcetera. 

And, arrived at the cottage-door, the two go up- 
stairs to take a peep at the same all-important little 
being in his crib. With cautious, noiseless tread 
they approached the little sleeper. He is always 
comfortably asleep at this hour ; and Mary stitching 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 173 

away very industriously while sitting by his cot, 
and of course smiling as usual, although no one 
is there to smile at The big, stalwart man 
must kneel down, or he cannot reach the baby's face 
with his lips. The mother leans over his shoulder 
as he stoops, and she whispers softly in his ear, 
and he looks up at her, and returns her smile, and 
nods his head in approval of what she has siud. 

Arm-in-arm they descend to the dining-room. 
Michael is at the door, bowing and waving his nap- 
kin to them in token of welcome. Nimbly and 
oflSciously Michael places the ^'posy's" chair, and 
Richard O'Meara and his young wife smilingly seat 
themselves ; and gaily and pleasantly the meal pro- 
ceeds, Ellen laughing cheerily at her husband's 
sallies. Michael, looking from one to the other 
with the fulness of his heart in his eyes, now 
and again puts in his word. Most often he says 
affectedly foolish things, for the purpose of ex- 
citing risibility at his own expense ; and his 
foster-brother and foster-sister-in-law (if such a 
relationship can be admitted) enjoy his harmless 



174 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

knavery, the drift of which is evident enough to 
both of them. 

The table is cleared ; the decanters and fruit 
are placed upon it; Richard O'Meara moves his 
chair round to his wife's side, and they clink 
glasses gaily to drink the health of the young, 
Richard. And Michael Hanrahan, according to 
usage duly established, holds out his glass to 
have it filled, — and filled it is to overflowing; 
and Michael throws back his head, looking directly 
upward, and presents the bottom of his glass to 
the ceiling, leaving no sign of heeltap as he pledges 
the toast. 

Lo and behold ! — the door opens, and in comes 
Mary dandling young Richard O'Meara. A brisk, 
bright little fellow he is. Richard O'Meara the 
younger is eight months old or so. A fine child of 
his age he is. He sits up very stout in his nurBe's 
arms. Michael walks backwards and chirps for him 
and for Mary ; — the chirp is intended for both. One 
look at Michael's capacious mouth, now puckered 
up most curiously, suffices for the younker. Richard 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 175 

the younger is otherwise attrax^ted by his mother's 
gentle call. His eye, directed by the sound, recog- 
nizes the features that even a baby so soon learns to 
distinguish. With outstretched arms he utters forth- 
with his baby supplication ; with outstretched arms 
his mother receives him, and baby Richard rests 
supremely happy in his mother's tender embrace. 
The little note of pleasure uttered by that tiny atom 
of humanity is heard by the mother's heart, and 
a tear, not of sorrow, but of ineffable love, falls on 
the blooming face over which she bends so fondly. 

Stretched at full length on his mother's lap, gazing 
up at her he is, when Richard the elder comes to 
look down on him. Richard the younger, although 
he knows as much as any child of his age that was 
ever born, has not yet learnt the unit table. Yet, 
without being able to reckon one, two, he perceives 
that a second face has been placed close to that of 
his mother, and if he is not much mistaken 
he has seen that second face before. Yes, yes, he 
remembers it ! and he crows his pleasure at the 
reminiscence. 



176 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

"Take your boy, Richard," Ellen says. 

" Put the rascal here, Ellen," answers Richard, 
stretching out his brawny arms to receive his off- 
spring. So on the arms of the father the crowing 
boy is laid. Richard the younger b highly gratified 
at his new position. The see-saw motion comes 
up to his idea of luxury, as Richard the elder 
paces up and down with him, moving his burthen 
to and fro, humming softly for his special delec- 
tation ; and the laughing boy crows up his answer 
gleefully. 

It is a picture to see the young wife, with both 
her hands clasped together as if in prayer, — and who 
knows but that it is in prayer ? — and her rounded 
chin resting on those clasped hands, as she follows 
with her eyes of love the motions of the two beings 
she so doats upon. 

After a little, Richard O'Meara and his wife, and 
Mary carrying baby, and Teague, — ^Michael stays 
at home to prepare tea, — set out for a ramble. Tea 
over, some time later, Richard O'Meara sips his 
glass of whisky-toddy ; and shortiy after, the whole 



TUB TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 177 

household is at rest, except Tea^e, who by night 
is the vigilant warder of the cottage and its in- 
mates. 

"As happy as if 'twas in paradise they were 
liying," quoth honest Michael. 



VOL. !• 



178 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Michael's gathering griefs. 

Michael Hanrahan was, as I have stated, very 
certain that up to, and including the term of one 
year and eleven months after the marriage of his 
foster-brother, matters went on at the cottage pretty 
much as particularized in the last Chapter. That 
period had scarcely gone by, however, when symp- 
toms of a change were noticed by the anxious and 
watchful Michael ; premonitions that caused him to 
apprehend the return of Richard O'Meara to his 
former baneful habits: and Michael's heart was 
sore and heavy with forebodings of evil. 

In the fourteenth month after his birth, it came 
to pass that Richard O'Meara the younger was 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 179 

affected with some infantine ailment. His mother 
could not be convinced but that, if she ceased to 
watch him by day and by night, his loss would be 
the consequence; and during this period her hus- 
band, left alone after dinner, sauntered now and 
again into " The Town of the Cascades," and my 
friend Michael noticed with dire alarm, that on re- 
turning from these visits he used to come home, to 
use Michael's own phrase " a little riz " (an abbrevi- 
ation of risen or raised, and meaning "elevated," 
or " tipsy"). 

The interview on the bridge between " the de- 
cayed gentleman " and the Half-pay, noticed in a 
former Chapter, will here be recalled. It will be 
remembered, too, that on this occasion, when Tom 
O'Loughlin had enlightened the Half-pay as to the 
mystery of the signal knocks and the rolling of the 
twenty-four-pound ball over the wooden bridge, he 
spoke in highly eulogistic terms of Richard O'Meara's 
boon companionship, and expressed his friendly and 
disinterested gratification to find that the object of 
this panegyric showed laudable symptoms of eman- 



180 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

cipating himself from the thraldom to which he had 
for a time so lamentably subserved. 

It was in company with Tom O'Loughlin and the 
Half-pay, and Ned Culkin and some others, that 
Richard O'Meara had become ** a little riz " on the 
occasions so sorrowfully noticed by Michael Han- 
rahan. 

Richard O'Meara the younger recovered in time 
from his attack of — whatever it may have been; 
— and it was the opinion of the household that he 
must have been laid up with the malady to which 
the youthful only are subject, and known only as 
"growing pains," so marvellously had the boy's 
stature increased during his illness. It would appear 
also, that while he lay coniSned to his cot, his frame 
had become, as it were, solidiiSed, and thereby more 
capable of retaining the impressions made upon it 
For he had become wonderfully acute in his percep- 
tions, and active with his reasoning powers. He 
could reckon heads, and divide the aggregate into 
units, and separately recognize each unit. He could 
distinguish Michael Hanrahan's face, from Teague's 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 181 

face ; and to all appearance he considered the come- 
liness on the dog's side, when exercising his new 
faculty of comparison, for he smiled at Teague more 
rapturously than at Michael. He knew perfectly 
— but this was no new knowledge — that his 
father was not his mother; and as for Mary, 
his nurse, he would indeed have belied the high 
estimate in which he was held, could he for an 
instant fail as to the individuality of her never- 
fading smile. 

In the evenings, after dinner, Richard O'Meara 
the elder again became the playfellow and nurse of 
this marvellous child. In a round, mellow voice he 
often sang for him, while tossing him upwards — 

" Look at the baby on the wall ; 
Look at the baby dancing ! 
Look at the baby, one and all ; 
Look at the baby prancing !" 

Michael Hanrahan danced to this ditty, nearly 
shaking his head oflf as he bounced about, snapping 
his forefinger and thumbs together. And Mary 
waved her hands and smiled at the delighted aero- 



182 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

naut ; while Ellen, the mother, in her own quiet way, 
looked on delighted. 

But although Michael Hanrahan joined in the 
evening festivities at the cottage, he was oppressed 
by sad misgivings. He did not fail to mark that 
Richard O'Meara drank deeper than he had done 
since his marriage. That the reformation which by 
the direct agency of ** the posy " he had reckoned 
on, was becoming doubtful. And Michael noted 
with sorrow that Richard O'Meara's visits to the 
town on business, were more frequent than need be ; 
that the latest visit was the longest, and that the 
longer the visit, the more " riz " was he when he 
came home. 

Michael Hanrahan, for good reasons of his own, 
had no relish for the great exuberancy of spirits his 
foster-brother brought back with him after these, his 
business visits. The jollity of manner was too ex- 
travagant to please Michael ; the laughter was too 
loud, and too often unmeaning in its purpose. 
Swagger, jollity, pointless boisterous laughter, all 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 183 

were evidences to Michael that his foster-brother 
had come home " riz." 

Michael Hanrahan had such thorough reliance on 
the affection and fidelity of Mary that, as he declared 
to me, **he didn't care to the value of an ould 
cronny-bean halfpenny if an out-an'-out dandy came 
from Dublin-town to make sheep's eyes at her." 

And furthermore, he declared "that," — figura- 
tively personifying himself as a cock — " 'twouldn't 
ruffle a feather of my top-knot if the smoothest of 
them peelers that have nothing to do but to beguile 
the counthry-girls " laid his snares for her. 

No, it was not at the prompting of the " green- 
eyed monster," jealousy, that Michael felt sickly at 
heart when his foster-brother chucked Mary under 
the chin and called her " a plump pullet" No, but 
Michael understood by the rakish, rollicking man- 
ner in which the chucking was performed that his 
foster-brother was impelled to such freedom in con- 
sequence of being " riz." 

And when Richard O'Meara came home *' riz," 



184 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Michael was far from approving of his altered man- 
ner to " the posy." There was more of ardour, 
less of delicacy in it. Humble and untutored as 
Michael was, he possessed a natural refinement of 
feeling which enabled him to perceive the difference 
of accost to " the posy " by the same man when sober 
and when '' riz." And perhaps of all the symptoms 
of returning bad habit, the last mentioned aroused 
Michael's greatest apprehension, and gave him 
most pain. 

** She'd often hang her head and look down," said 
Michael, " like the primrose the sun would shine too 
bowld oa" 

There was, and mayhap there still is, within view 
and sound of the river cascades, a moss-covered 
rock with an ancient hawthorn rising canopy-like 
above it. I will name this the trysting-rock of my 
narrative. 

Whenever Mary wished to hold conference with 
Michael, and that Michael was not within doors, — 
or viee vers&y to this mossy rock near the cascades, 
either went to seek the other, and seldom or never 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 185 

was the seeker disappointed by finding the trysting- 
rock untenanted. 

Of a certain evening, Michael, anxious to confide 
to Mary's sympathizing bosom his fears and his 
anxieties, and to consult her on a sagacious plan he 
had devised, went forth, and, as he had expected, he 
found Mary. 

As he came within view of the trysting-rock and 
of Mary, Michael paused a moment to enjoy the 
pastime that was going on. 

Richard O'Meara, junior, was by this time not 
altogether dependent on others for locomotion, and 
Mary was engaged, snatching up her charge, racing 
with him to some distance from the rock, placing 
him on his feet, scampering back and reseating her- 
self, and then with outspread hands and voice 
enticing the young pedestrian to her. Michael 
Hanrahan forgot his griefs for the moment as ne 
heard the child's shout of rapture, and observed with 
what desperate resolution of purpose the delighted 
pupil dashed towards his preceptress, and flung him- 
self into her arms. 



186 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. "^ 

"Again to it, Mary," shouted Michael. And 
again the boy was placed at a further distance firom 
the rock, and again the race to Mary was achieved 
gloriously. And again, and again, and again, and 
again, and again, before Michael caught him up and 
kissed him. Then placing the beautiful boy on 
Mary's knee Michael sat beside her. Richard 
O'Meara, junior, was a safe confidant at nearly 
every meeting between Mary and Michael, for 
although he could lisp a few words, his vocabulary 
was not suflSciently extensive to enable him to tell 
tales. 

'*Mary," said Michael, "I'm come to tell you 
my griefs. Oh, Mary! Mary! — 'tis going back 
again to his bad life, he is." 

" Ah ! Michael — 'twould be the sore pity. I have 
my hopes, Michael, and my trust in heaven, that 
he'll think of himself an' stop short." 

" I'd give up anything in the world, barring your 
own self, Mary, that your eyes could see clearer 
than mine. But I have a knowledge of him since 
we were boys together. 'Twas never half-an'-half 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 187 

with Dick O'Meara. Twas neck-or-nothing with 
him ever and always, and he won't stop." 

" More's the pity, Michael, more is the pity. But 
don't give up, he'll mend—he'll mend yet, with 
heaven's help." 

" If 'twas only myself that was to rue it, Mary, 
— though I can't help having the love at my heart 
for him, — it wouldn't be of so much matter. 
But our beautiful posy, Mary ; — if through his 
wickedness that creature's heart is saddened — and 
though she doesn't complain, she isn't the pleasant 
bird she was, I can tell you — " 

" She is not, indeed, Michael ; thrue for you — !" 

" If through his wickedness then he brings grief 
upon our posy, — he'll suffer for it. And — and — 
that he may — I" 

"Michael I You wouldn't offer up that prayer?" 

"No, no; I believe not. But if he hurts our 
posy, he'll suffer for it without my prayer. Be you 
sure of that." 

" The Lord guide an' purtect us, and turn him 
back into the right road I" 



188 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES, 

" Amen to that, Mary. Amen !" 

"Michael—?" 

« Well, Mary." 

" Couldn't anything be done to cure him ?*' 

" You remind me of it, Mary. I have a plan in 
my own head, and I want to take counsel with 
you." 

" What is your plan, Michael ?" 

"One plan I'll work out first. Ill do my 
endeavours to stop his dhrinking at home at any 
rate." 

" How will you bring that about ?" 

" I'll tell you. I'll keep the liquor from him !" 

" If you could do that, Michael, 'twould be the 
charity 1" 

** You'll see that I will. And this very night I'll 
begin. He's gone into the town, but he'll get no 
liquor when he comes back. Mary — " 

** Well, Michael?" 

" Tis the Devil that brews the dhrink. An' if 
he doesn't do it with his own two claws, he's stand- 
ing by present when it's made." 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 189 

"Indeed 'tis likely." 

** 'Tis the down thruth, Mary. May my bitther 
curse light upon it for the liquor 1" 

Strengthened by Mary's hearty approval of his 
plans for restricting Richard O'Meara in the home- 
allowance of liquor, Michael arranged, with her 
assistance, the details of his operations, and then the 
two went home together. 

But honest Michael's devices were seldom suc- 
cessful in their issue, and although Mary regarded 
him as a Solomon, and endorsed his sagacious con- 
trivances, it will be seen that in more instances than 
the present their consultations and joint arrange- 
ments tended to little good. 



190 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

HOW Michael's plan succeeded. 

Up to the period at which this Chapter opens, 
Richard O'Meara had always returned early from 
his evening visits to " The Town of the Cascades." 
On the occasion now to be noticed, two hours of 
the night had passed ere he opened the wicket 
leading into his flower-garden.. He was heard, in 
his approach to the cottage, singing at the top of 
his voice, and this until he reached its very door. 
There, under the projecting porch, stood his wife, 
with her gentle greeting, — 

"Welcome home to me, Richard." 

His reply was cordial, but it was boisterous and 
unsuitable. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 191 

" Ellen, my queen of roses, is that you ? If 
I am not proud to meet you, Ellen, my beauty, 
may I be a bornoch! If I*m not proud to see 
you, may Richard O'Meara be a bornoch! Ha, 
ha, har 

And his laugh at the excellence of his conceit 
was as loud as the roar of the cascades. 

** Only think now, of Richard. 0*Meara — that — 
stands two feet six — in his leather — changed into 
a bornoch I — living under — a shell — not one inch 
across I— sticking fast — to the rocks — down in — 
the bay! — Well! — upon my soul — 'tis sublime to 
imagine it— isn't it, Ellen ?" 

Richard O'Meara's stentorian laughter had seve- 
ral times interrupted his words, and now he bent 
backwards to give full vent to his uproarious mirth. 

" Isn't it sublime, Ellen?" 

" It would be a great change indeed, Richard." 

** But you don't seem to enjoy it, Ellen ?" 
" Indeed I do, Richard dear," and she essayed to 
mingle her little silvery tinkle with her husband's 
noisy explosion. 



192 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Upon my soul it would be a change, as you call 
it ; no doubt about it." 

Here his face and his voice became serious. 

" There would be an advantage, however. Those 
damned rascals with their parchments and their 
diablerie, couldn't get at me. Ha, ha, ha! I'd 
defy them to creep under my shell. They couldn't, 
they couldn't, — and, deuce mend them, the liti- 
gious scoundrels that keep a pleasant fellow with 
his nose rubbing against his desk all day — till it 
gets sharp and vixenish." 

Again his loud merriment gave place to gravity. 

" In the domestic privacy of a bomoch," he said, 
" there is an advantage, surely. And I suppose he 
has plenty of time, and some to spare for cogitation 
and calculation. Ay, that may be, — ^he is a her- 
mit, — a bomoch is. And he leads a virtuous, 
abstemious, and inoffensive life. He does, no 
doubt. — But," and his ringing laughter returned, 
while he shook his wife's hands so violently that she 
winced, — " but for all that — devil's in me if Richard 
O'Meara would change with him. He hasn't a wife 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 193 

Kke mine — nor a wife at all — ^the stupid wretch ! — 
There wouldn't be room for a wife in the bomoch's 
shell. And, furthermore, Richard O'Meara wouldn't 
— exchange — his beef, — ^and his mutton, — and his 
ham and turkey, — and his potteen-punch, — for the 
philosophic bomoch's breakfast, — lunch, — dinner, — 
supper, — and lush, — of salt water — salt water, — 
from one end of the year to the other. No — no ! — 
the life of a bornoch is not like my life, Ellen, my 
queen !" 

" Dear Richard, will you not come in ?" 

"Come in? To be sure I will. 'Tisnt a 
bomoch's roof that's over us, Ellen, — no, — ^no !" 

And, snatching his wife up in his arms, he raced 
in with her, shoved the parlour door open with his 
shoulder, placed her sitting on the sofa, retreated a 
few steps, and stood looking on her admiringly, 
while his laughter filled the room. 

The door opened, and Mary Malone entered, 
bearing the child in her arms. Richard the younger 
was in his night-dress ; he had been roused from his 
sleep by his father's boisterousness, and, notwith- 

VOL. I. o 



194 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

standing Mary's dissuasion, conveyed distinctly in 
his own baby-language, he would partake of the 
merriment he understood to be going on. 

Richard O'Meara turned, and snatched lus son 
from the nurse's arms. 

" Mary," he said, " you're as blooming as ever, 
and as smiling as ever," and he pinched Mary's 
fresh cheek. Michael was looking cm, and, in the 
sense before explained, he felt the pinch upon Mary's 
cheek like a heavy blow inflicted on himself. 
" Where is my foster-brother Michael ?" 
The questioner followed Mary's eye. 
"Ay, ay; I see the rogue. Take off that 
glum phiz, my honest fellow, and look as a chap 
in his courting days ought to look. Mary, 
you and Michael here shall be flesh of one flesh 
before this day month, whether you consent or 
not. Ellen—" 
''Well, Richard?" 

" What are we to make of this rascal — this boy 
of ours I" 

" I leave that entirely to you, Richard." 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 195 

"Well — ^let me see. 'Tis a serious considera- 
tion, Ellen. Look at me, Dick, straight in the 
face, like a man. Ay, that will do. An attorney 
you shan't be ; they're half shark, half mole, every 
man of them, — ^your father included. You look too 
jovial to be made a judge of, Dick, you do. I don't 
think you're sanctimonious, no more than your 
father, so you are unfit to be a bishop. You'll be a 
stout fellow, Dick, six feet two, like your sire; 
there's fire in your eye, my boy, so I think — we'll 
make a general of you. You hear that, Ellen? 
Yes, a general, nothing else. Come, General, 
mount your charger !" 

He raised the little fellow so incautiously that 
Ellen, pale and trembling, found it difficult to sup- 
press a scream. Mary's arms were involuntarily 
stretched out to reclaim him, and Michael wrung 
his hands. But the General himself felt no alarm. 
His legs were placed over the shoulders of the 
charger, who grasped them in front, and the bold 
equestrian steadied his seat by clutching in both 
hands his father's clustering hair. 



196 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Right, — right, General ! Hold on to the mane 
stoutly — we are about to charge at the head of the 
cavalry. Out of the way, there, or we'll ride you 
down and sabre you 1 Charge !" 

Away went the charger, at full gallop, round and 
round the room, the General shouting on his shoul- 
ders. And round and round they went, until the 
heads of the anxious lookers-on were dizzy. Then 
came a sudden pause. 

" Your charger requires to be watered, General, 
or he'll never be able to break through the enemy's 
flank" 

He turned to the sideboard. 

" Hallo ! Commissary Michael !" he cried, 
" what has become of the decanters ? Bring in the 
decanters, like a gay, honest fellow." 

And he sang, — 

" Fill the bumper Mr ; 
Every drop we sprinkle 
O'er the brow of care, 

Smooths away a wrinkle." 

" Come, Michael, * fill the bumper fair * for the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 197 

Generars charger. The water is here— off with you 
for the other ingredient 1" 

Michael came shuffling forward, endeavouring to 
put on the sheepish look he could assume on occa- 
sion. But there was a nervous quivering about his 
lips, and an anxiety mingled with alarm in his eye, 
that both operated to spoil the signification of 
vacant simplicity it was his wish to index. Michael 
was now about to try the well-meant experiment 
agreed on between himself and Mary, the plan so 
excellently devised, and so sure to be efTective. But 
the excited state in which he saw his foster-brother, 
raised his apprehension that the essay would not be 
altogether so practicable as he had decided it to be. 
He feared he was now venturing on very dangerous 
gi^ound. Yet his purpose was laudable, and he 
would proceed. Very skilfully, as he supposed, 
did he begin his manoeuvres. 

" Sure, Masther Dick, the General, as you chris- 
tened him, God bless himl is dhragging at your 
poor head enough to tire you out. And, General, 
Tm thinkuig you ought to dismount from your 



198 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

grand charger, and shut your peepers. It's time 
we were all mounting, and getting into our beds, 
snug and cosy. The misthress, the crature, is lost 
with the sleep, I know." 

Michael bobbed his head, and winked both his 
eyes at the mistress, to intimate that she ought to 
confirm his assertion. £ut she was silent. 

^^ Afther your dancing and galloping undher the 
General, Masther Dick," he went on, " you must be 
mortial tired, and you must want to stretch your 
bones sadly. And so, in heaven's name — '* 

*'Ay, and so in heaven's name, as you say, 
Michael, I must have my lush before I ga I am 
as thirsty as — " 

" A lime-burner, — he 1 he ! he !" put in Michael. 

** The aggregate thirst of forty lime-burners, and 
forty smiths, and forty glass-blowers, would not 
reach the thirst of the single individual that is 
panting for his lush. Q£F with you, man, if you 
don't want to see me shrivel up before your eyes, 
like scorched parchment." 

Michael, giggling as he went, raced out. In a 



;^THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 199 

very short time he returned, holding a decanter by 
the neck, between the first and second finger of his 
right hand. This he deposited on the sideboard. It 
would have been diflScult for you, even had you 
been present, to understand the half-terrified, half- 
simulated simplicity of his more than usually pallid 
face, as he awaited the result of his proceeding. 

" Come, General," said Richard O'Meara gaily, 
" when we have had our drink, we'll dash through 
the bayonets of the enemy and gain the day. Hold 
on hard by the mane, General, while I mix my jorum. 
The veriest coward is a hero. General, with good 
liquor under his sword-belt, as we'll prove to the 
enemy. Eh?— what's this?" 

While speaking in this gleeish strain, Richard 
O'Meara had been engaged pouring water into 
his glass, and then having leant the decanter to 
pour in the whiskey — lo ! no whisky came forth. 
Richard, as yet unsuspicious of Michael's drift, 
handed him back the decanter, with — 

" You've made a grand mistake here, my honest 
fellow. Take this back to the cellar, and insert 



200 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

into the orifice of the soulless vessel the nose of the 
cock of Darby Kenealy's keg of potteen, and let the 
sparkling beverage flow in until it gurgles small 
when reaching the neck. Your mistake has been 
a d — d annoyance, I can tell you. Besides the 
blank disappointment, just as the cup was about 
being carried to the lip, you give the enemy time to 
rally, and so may cause the General to lose his 
battle. Be off and bring the decanter brimful.^' 

"MastherDick " 

"Well, Master Michael?" 

" We're like the strand of the bay when the tide 
is out." 

" How like the strand of the bay when the tide 
is out?" 

" We're run drhy like the strand, — ^he 1 he ! he !" 

" What do you mean by that ?" 

" Our potteen — ^he ! he ! he ! is run out, and so 
we have the drhy strand, — he ! he I he ! There isn't 
as much in the house as would fill a two-year-old 
child's thimble— he !— he !— h-e-e !" 

The last attempt at a giggle was a failure as 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 201 

expressive of mirth. The he — he — ^h-e-e ! was 
plaintive and quavering, and from poor Michael's 
perturbed lips sounded more like a wail than a 
laugh. And little wonder; for Michael saw that 
his foster-brother's brows were knit close together, 
and that the eyes flashing from beneath their lower- 
ing clouds flashed no sunlight, but the intense glare 
that foreboded* a storm. He had seen the same 
murky light in those eyes before. 

"Hah— hah— hah!" 

And to Michael's ears his foster-brother's scoff- 
ing laughter was terrible. 

•* Come, sir !" he cried suddenly, in a loud, angry 
voice, and he made a stride towards Michael. The 
movement was so rapid, and so unexpected, that the 
tiny General, taken unawares, tumbled headlong 
from his saddle. The another uttered a sharp 
scream, Mary endeavourecj. to grasp her charge, and 
Michael, momentarily remorseful for having roused 
a temper hitherto latent, wailed and twisted his 
fingers together. The father seized his son before 
he reached the ground, but that so roughly, that 



202 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

the little fellow, unsoldierlike though it was, bel- 
lowed with all his might. 

The loud voice of the Goliath of the scene, the 
mother's screams, Mary's exclamations, JVHchael's 
remorseful groans, and the small General's cry of 
terror, produced in the apartment a noise nothing 
short of tumult. 

Richard O'Meara's moody eyes turned from one 
to the other. 

" Here, girl," he said ; " take this brat from me 
and remove him." 

Mary clasped her nursling to her bosom, and 
nestling there he became still, stealing looks now 
and again at his father's altered face, and hiding to 
escape the impression it produced on him. 

" And now, Sir," said Richard O'Meara, seizing 
Michael by the collar, and shaking him as if he 
were a reed, " why have you dared to practise your 
ill-performed buffoonery on me? Why, under 
cover of such assumed tom-foolery, have you dared 
to insinuate that I have drunk too much ?" 

"Masther Dick, indeed I didn't—" 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADEa 203 

** You lying whelp ! — ^you did so insinuate. Dare 
you say it now openly, sirrah, without personating 
the folly that does not belong to you ? Dare you 
say openly — that I am— drunk f Answer me, cur ? 
Am I drunk ? — am I ? — ^answer me !" 

At each question Michael was shaken violently by 
the strong arm that held him. It was with difficulty 
he could gasp out his reply. 

" Masther — Dick ! — you are — not a — down- 
right — drunken man — but — " 

** But what ? — finish your sentence. But what ?" 
" If you take — more — you will — disgrace us all ! 
— K you take more — ^you will — be — drunk !" 

"Hahl By " 

And the room was filled with the boisterous oath 
which I will not record. 

" ^You are a virulent, slandering cur. Were 

I even to drink until my head burst open, how 
comes it that such as you should attempt to control 

me ? By ," and the oath was repeated, ** I 

will dislocate every joint in your body before I 
stop." 



204 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

At this mad moment, when the infuriated man 
seemed blindly intent on the execution of his threat, 
two little hands clasped his arm. He started, and 
looked down at his wife's pale, beseeching face. 

" My beloved Richard !" she softly said. 

The voice appealed to his heart, if not to his 
reason. There was a hush of the storm; the 
strong grasp relaxed, and Michael freed himself 
and retreated to a little distance. 

"Was it with your consent, Ellen, that this 
paltry, presumptuous trick was practised on me ?" 

" Upon my honour, no, dearest Richard !" 

" I believe you. Then sit down, Ellen, and do 
not interfere. Go you, sirrah, 1511 up that decanter, 
and bring it hither instantly. Else I will so chas- 
tise you that your nearest of kin will not recognize 
you," 

" Go, Michael, go !" added the wife. 

Michael's pale face turned yet paler, but he 
replied, calmly and deliberately, 

"Do as you say, Masther Dick, do, if it 
pleasures you. 'Twill be no hard task for you to 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 205 

work out your threatenings. You are a tall and 
powerful man, and I am a small and delicate one. 
Your arm is strong and heavy, while mine is puny 
and weak. If you will chastise me as you say, 
little chance have I to make head against you. 
And — now that I see — you're fixed on your own 
destruction, 'tis little matter to me if you stretched 
me at your feet this moment a corpse. Do, use 
your strength upon me. But, come what may. III 
give no helping hand to your downfall. I'll not be 
the one to hand you poison. Not I, Masther Dick, 
not I. Not if you struck me with your heavy hand 
until the life left me !" 

The last words of this long protest were scarcely 
audible, for Michael's voice trembled. He burst 
into tears, and covering his face with both his 
hands, he sobbed convulsively. 

Michael's temperament was feminine. He lacked 
the bodily nerve that urges to pugnacity, but he 
possessed the moral courage to do without wincing 
what he considered right. 

His words, the manner of their delivery, and the 



206 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

tender, womanlike affection they displayed, had a 
powerful effect on Richard O'Meara. He looked 
on the poor fellow remorsefully, — ^his eyes softened. 
Mary thought this a favourable opportunity to lead 
Michael away. Before this, however, she whis- 
pered to her mistress, and Ellen spoke up whisper- 
ingly to her husband. Mary had slipped out, 
filled the decanter, and placed it on the side- 
board. And so ended the notable plan that 
Michael and Mary had so hopefully devised. 

As, arm-in-arm, they passed into the hall, some 
one retreated before them. It was Nora Spruhan, 
who had been a listener to the contention within. 

Nora paused in the centre of the hall, and ad- 
dressed Michael and Mary. 

"The day of reckoning for me is nigh at hand," 
she said. And then she turned swiftly down the 
passage leading to the kitchen. 

"Lord help us! — 'tis likely to be coming,'' 
Michael groaned as he looked after the girl. 



207 



CHAPTER XIX. 



SUITE. 



And did Richard O'Meara allow the kindly feelings 
natural to him full scope, when the outburst of 
passion resulting from partial excess had subsided ? 

No. 

Silently and gloomily he sat him down, and 
leaned his head upon his hand. There was a self- 
accuser within him, and the mirror that was hel 
before his mind's eye was irksome to look in. 

So, to escape the self-reproach he felt, he grasped 
the liquor Mary had brought in, and he drank — 
and drank — and drank. 

After a while he desired his wife to leave him . 
Too much terrified by what she had witnessed 



208 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

to think of refusing, she obeyed without expos- 
tulation. 

And there Richard O'Meara remained until the 
whisky he had been supplied with was exhausted. 

After a short, feverish sleep, he arose betimes, 
but with an aching head and nervous hand. He 
repaired to his office at an early hour, and there 
affected to be occupied. This, however, was mere 
affectation ; he was unfit for the simplest details of 
business. He awaited his wife's summons to break- 
fast, and this he instantly obeyed. 

"Ellen, dear Ellen," he supplicated, "can you 
forgive me? I have outraged and insulted you, 
my wife; — will you pardon me?" 

" Pardon you, dearest Richard ? — Oh, yes ! — You 
were not unkind to me during your temporary for- 
getfulness." 

" I thank you, Ellen, — ^I thank you. But to this 
poor fellow I have been unkind— and cruel. One 
moment, Ellen, one moment." 

Michael was standing in the hall, looking sad and 
dejected, as his foster-brother entered with "the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 209 

posy.** Richard 0*Meara went over to him. He 
took one of Michael's hands in his, and laid the 
other on his shoulder, as he stooped down to whisper 
in his ear. 

" Michael,** he said, " I ask your forgiveness. It 
id the last time you shall see me so affected, Michael 
— the last time.** 

" From the bottom of my heart I pray,** answered 
Michael, " that it may be the last time. Masther 
Dick, ask of God on high that he may give you his 

holy grace to enable you to keep your word.** 

« « « « « 

" Michael was of opinion,** said Mary Hanrahan 
to me, ** that Richard 0*Meara did not pray for 
grace. For Michael says, if grace be prayed for, 
grace will be given. An* I agree with Michael,** 
added Mary. 

I will close this short Chapter by saying, that the 
creed of Michael and Mary is my creed also. 



VOL. I. 



210 



CHAPTER XX. 

ANOTHER SHORT CHAPTER. MICHAEL'S SIMILE OF 
THE BLUE-BOTTLE, AND MICHAEL's IMITATION OF 
FATHER MATHEW. 

It is not my intention to follow Richard O'Meara 
step by step as he was led on by the Achates of 
" The Town of the Cascades." From the lengthened 
details given me by Michael and Mary, and derived 
from other sources too, I will select a few remark- 
able occurrences that stand prominently forward. 

For a time Richard O'Meara fulfilled the promise 
he had made to Michael. He remained at home in 
the evenings, and did not visit the town, and he 
endeavoured to fix himself steadily to business. He 
was moderate too in his libations, and forced himself 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 211 

to be content with the "allowance," as Michael 
named it, put into the decanter each evening. 

But the cheerful buoyancy of his spirits was 
damped by the constraint to which he endeavoured 
to submit Gradually his efforts relaxed, and on — 
on he went again in his ruinous progress. 

" He reminded me at that time," said Michael, 
** of a big blue fly that's caught in a spider's web. 
He wrangled hard to get free, and then he stopped 
in his wrangling. And then he wrangled again, 
and stopped again; — ^and stopped, and wrangled, 
and stopped, and wrangled. Every time he stopped 
nd began again, his fluttering and kicking and 
buzzing was weaker, and weaker,— until he gave up 
entirely. And if you will only say to yourself that 
the crawling, ill-looking spider that crept out and 
dragged him away was the evil sperrit that pours 
. out the liquor for people, you'll have exactly my 
notion of the poor fellow's fate. 

**You may take my word for it," Michael con- 
tinued when he had paused after the sententious 
delivery of his apt, though not elegant simile — 



212 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" You may take my word for it, that what I heard 
Father Mathew saying (the Heavens be his bed) 
in the chapel beyond, is all as one as gospel thruth." 

Here Michael threw himself into an oratorical 
attitude, and modified his features to represent 
Father Mathew's peculiar bland benevolence of 
smile. It was a caricature likeness he produced no 
doubt, yet Michael's face was benevolent in its 
way. And although no two faces could be more 
dissimilar than those of Michael Hanrahan and the 
apostle of temperance, — the former being remark- 
able for nondescript irregularity, the other for classic 
contour, — there was as near an approach to likeness 
of expression as could be efiected. Michael's style 
bore evidence that his was a very free translation of 
the original text As it was, I quote verbatim. 

"My dear friends" (says Father Mathew), 
" there is nothing at all at all to stand for the poor 
sowl, God help it, that's given to the liquor, but to 
put the sign of the cross on its forehead, as a thresh- 
old betwixt itself and the Devil, — ^a threshold 
across which the ould lad darn't put his hoof, or so 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 213 

much as the tip of his claw. And then let it turn 
its back upon the dhrink teetumtotally, and never 
let it scald its tongue again." 

Which, to my mind, is good, sound doctrine, 
however oddly paraphrased by Michael Hanrahan. 



214 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE widow-woman's PLACE OF ** ENTERTAINMENT." 

On a certain evening, at the hour when night had 
begun to unfold her pall, and was gradually envelop- 
ing objects beneath its screen, the western edge 
thereof being gilt by the latest touch of the retiring 
sun, the Half-pay issued from his little shabby- 
genteel house, looked around him for a moment, 
sniffed the pleasant breeze with a relish, and then 
stumped down the descent towards the river. 

Briskly and hastily the Half-pay pushed across 
the bridge. From the celerity and liveliness of his 
motions one would infer that he was bent on some 
important business; and I have full reason for 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 215 

asserting that the interior merriment of which I 
have before spoken, circulated freely between his 
firmly closed lips and teeth, — significant that the 
object in view was " apples and nuts to him." 

Over the bridge he hastened, looking intently 
before him, glancing neither to the right nor left, 
not even beguiled into taking a passing view of 
the cascades. They might tumble upward for all 
he cared just then. 

Off the bridge, into the main street he went* 
Across the street he hurried, and with a lively hop, 
and a flourish of his cudgel, he ascended a etep at 
the threshold of a shop directly fronting him, and 
there entered. All alive and mettlesome he seemed 
to be. 

Through the well-burnished windows of this shop, 
and so disposed on a shelf or counter within as to be 
seen at a glance, one caught sight of a pyramid of 
loaves of bread. Close to the bread was a cheese, 
with a wedge-shaped cut therein, proving the 
interior to be rich and crumbling. And on this 
cheese lay the instrument with which the incision 



216 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

had been made, ready to say, "Cut and come 
again " when required. 

In close neighbourhood with the cheese was a 
juicy round of beef; a great carving knife lay 
thereon, both able and willing, if set to work, to 
slice away manfully. Close by this again, was a 
boiled ham, partially incised, as the cheese was, 
and most enticing, to judge by the eye, — ^the lean 
so red and crisp, the fat so blanched and clarified. 
And there was a flitch of bacon, in a sitting posture, 
that looked down, one would think, affectionately 
on the partly excavated ham. Very probably this 
flitch of bacon, and its neighbour the ham, had, not 
very long ago, been united portions of some animal, 
— whilom lord and master of the cabin he dwelt in, 
little imagining the purpose for which he was so 
pampered and caressed, so well cared and housed. 

Then there was a large wooden bowl to be seen, 
heaped up with eggs, beyond water-measure : there 
was a dish choke-full of small *' prints of butter :" 
and there was also a large crock of the same edible 
pickled, the mouth of the crock turned streetwards 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 217 

with a grooved wooden spatula plunged therein, 
prepared for action. 

Somewhat in the rear of this surpassing fare, and 
modestly disclaiming "pride of place," stood a 
singed pig's head with very erect ears, and close 
thereto a heap of dingy-looking pigs' ** pettitoes " — 
or ** crubeens," in local parlance. 

Immediately in contact with the window-panes 
was a castle formed of scalloped-edged biscuits 
Hanging up, so as to catch the eye at once ; there 
was a bundle of clay pipes, the bowls capped with 
tin covers, and these chained to the pipe-shanks. And 
there were " doodeens " manufactured by an artist 
in that line living in " The Town of the Cascades," 
these deserving special description. The heads of 
the " doodeens " then, were of mahogany, the bowls 
of tin, and the shanks of sweet woodbine. They 
were profusely ornamented with copper wire, and 
amateurs in smoking have told me that such 
doodeens surpass the costliest meerschaums. 

As a final portion of the exhibition in the 
window, 1 have to notice six sad-looking pickled 



218 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

herrings, erect, but leaning against the glass for 
support, and standing on the apex of their snouts. 
Were these lachrymose pickled herrings so placed 
for the purpose of contrasting with the more gene- 
rous fare on view at the same time ? So I at first 
supposed, but I was mistaken. 

Over the door of this well-provisioned estabhsh- 
ment was a sign-board bearing one significant 
word : — 

" Entertainment," 
— in large white letters on a black ground. 

The well-cooked beefsteak or mutton-chop, with 
ceteras, and followed by bottled ale and whisky 
punch, could be very cosily served up in the little 
overfumished, carpeted room up-stairs. 

Rasher-and-egg eaters, or eaters of eggs alone, 
were generally satisfied to regale themselves at a 
table on which the kitchen fire shed its genial glow. 
While the bread and cheese and butter consumers, 
or the diners on a meagre pickled herring, were 
content with a seat in the common tap-room. 

For one moment or so I must be allowed to take 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 219 

a glance at the interior of the shop belonging to the 
house of " Entertainment." 

At a few feet from the termination of the counter, 
which ran from the window almost to the wall oppo- 
site, an upright partition of boards projected, and 
this formed a screen, behind which the stealthy 
dram-drinker who had not " come to make a sitting 
of it," might " turn up his little finger " while hastily 
tossing off his glass of liquor. The counter was to 
the right as you entered the shop ; to the left there 
were three capacious puncheons, light blue in colour, 
and marked No. 1, No. 2, No. 3; the number 
signifying a gradation of merit in the contents. On 
shelves behind the counter were ranged many light 
blue kegs. And below these, and opposite the 
screen, stood, each in a cell of its own, six squat, 
unusually corpulent, Dutch-built bottles. 

These bottles were tightly corked, but through 
the cork of each a strong whipcord passed, which 
was fastened firmly round the bottle's neck. A 
smart pull at the string, and out came the cork in 
a jiffy, safely dangling, while the contents gurgled 



220 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

forth. The familiars of the convenient screen 
averred, that aU and every of the black bottles 
could speak one word of the Irish language as 
plainly as if they " had it in theur throttles." 

At the instant when the cork was snatched from 
the orifice it filled, and the neck of the bottle 
bent to the glass, the well-understood word 
" Dhuich r was heard, plain as it could be uttered. 
And the translated meaning of the word " Dhuich /" 
is " drink !" used by the bottles in the imperative 
mood. 

The willing obeyers of the mandate so enunciated, 
fiirther aflSrmed, that each individual bottle issued 
its command in a tone peculiarly its own. Every 
hider behind the screen cultivated an intimacy with 
one or other of the bottles in preference to the rest. 
He could therefore decide, without probability of 
error, if the '* Dhuich /" had come from his own 
favourite. He could not be imposed on by a stran- 
ger's voice, or beguiled to stimulate his palate with 
any but its accustomed stimulant. 



221 



CHAFPER XX [I. 

THE *' LONE llOOM." 

When the Half-pay had hopped into the house of 
'* Entertainment," he performed an odd pirouette 
with hid composite leg, punched it down thrice, as 
though to say emphatically, ** We have arrived, my 
lad I" And then he brought his cudgel to present 
arms while he placed the edge of his left hand above 
the rim of his beaver. This accolade was given to 
a buxom, comely woman, who stood behind the 
counter. This woman might be forty, or there- 
abouts. She was Dutch-built, like her bottles ; her 
eye was blue (sky-blue eyes are very general in and 
about "The Town of the Cascades"); — no doubt 
but these blue-eyes had emitted ethereal rays when 



222 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

their owner was in her maiden prime ; — their ex- 
pression even now was not quite lost, but there was 
shrewdness superadded. Her plump cheeks were 
rosy ; their girlish peachiness had hardened though ; 
her hair was glistening auburn (such is also very 
general in the locality); — it was carefully curled 
about her face. She wore a gown of some dark 
colour ; a checked apron " from the fold " guarded 
this to the front ; a many-coloured silk kerchief 
enveloped her bust ; and she wore a cap with pink 
strings and a pink bow above the left ear. It was 
not a widow's cap— no, no ; it was a kind of com- 
promise cap, with quilling and lace in great abun- 
dance ; and this compromise cap was very becoming, 
the pink strings and bows taking from it all cha- 
racter of sombreness. 

This tidy, pleasant-looking — but, at the same 
time "not-to-be-caught-with-chaff" person, was the 
" widow-woman" of the " Town of the Cascades " — 
the Half-pay's widow- woman especially, as the reader 
will doubtless remember. 

When the Half-pay saluted his old nurse, the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 223 

widow-woman held a small wooden instrument, with 
a slender neatly-turned handle, and an ornamental 
knob at the end, — not unlike, in fact, a royal 
sceptre as to shape and size. This sceptre was 
technically called a " muller," and was used by the 
widow-woman to bruise the sugar against the 
bottom of the glass when she brewed a " tumbler of 
punch." The expertness with which she twirled 
■ this muller between her fingers, proved indeed that 
*' practice makes perfect" It is certain that with it 
she could efiect a thorough amalgamation of sugar 
and water in a battery of twelve or more ** tumblers" 
placed in a row, in a twentieth of the time the same 
process would have demanded through the every- 
day agency of spoon or ladle. Scientific preparers 
of solutions would do well to take a hint from the 
widow-woman's muller. It may give them a wrinkle 
worth knowing. 

In answer to the Half-pay's salute, the comely 
widow-woman jerked the handle of her muller 
between the first and second fingers of her right 



224 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

hand, and twirling it upwards, placed it cross-wise 
above the jaunty pink bow that so expressively 
removed all idea of pining or sadness from the cap. 
Her look into the Half-pay's eyes was steady and 
unflinching as his own, but with her there was a 
jocularity in the eyes, and about the mouth, that 
imparted a piquancy to her return of the veteran's 
symbolic gallantry. 

The Half-pay, after a due pause, lowered his 
cudgel and placed it, ever so gently, on the widow- 
woman's shoulder, while she also lowered her muller, 
brought its knob in contact with the counter, and 
leaned her palm on it. 

" Any — one ?" the Half-pay asked, jerking his 
head towards the end of the shop. 

The widow-woman separated the fingers of her 
left hand and held four of them up to view. At the 
same time she bent the first joint of her thumb, and 
protruded the ball thereof, so as to produce an 
easily appreciable representation of a duck. She 
touched each upright finger separately, and then she 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 225 

tapped the duck's head, and allowed the muller to 
rest upon it. 

" Not come yet. Will t/ou, Curnel?" 

The Half-pay paused a moment, and his riveted 
look at her was not without humour. But you 
should have studied his (ace somewhat to dis- 
cover it. 

" I will." 

" Then he's welcome. If not, home again in full 
trot," said the widow-woman. 

Lest those who read this narrative should be 
perplexed by the conversation held partly in dumb 
show between the hostess of the house of " Enter- 
tainment " and her friend the Half-pay, I think a 
translation of her hieroglyphics necessary. When 
she touched her four upright fingers with her muller, 
she replied to the query " Any — one ?" by telling 
the querist that four of his usual evening com- 
panions had reached the place of rendezvous. The 
duck formed by the contortion of her thumb, typified 
our acquaintance, Tom O'Loughlin, " the decayed 
gentleman." The symbol was not strictly accurate, 

VOL. I. Q 



226 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

to be sure; neither are those discovered on the 
walls of the pyramids, by the bedusted rummagers 
therein. There is a hard strain needed at times by 
the learned explorers, to bring the buckle and tongue 
of an interpretation in contact. And the widow- 
woman's symbol of Tom O'Loughlin was as apt as 
many. 

"Tom O'Loughlin," she reasoned, "drinks as 
often as a duck. He eats, to be sure, — so do ducks 
— but with every morsel he must have a drink, just 
as ducks feed. His element is the fluid, not the 
solid, therefore when my thumb is modelled to 
represent a duck, it represents Tom O'Loughlin. 
It will be seen that the meaning of the widow- 
woman was evident to the Half-pay. The query 
verbally propounded while she held her muUer 
on the duck's head, and thoroughly understood by 
the Half-pay, was, — 

" Will you pay for the duck's drink, Cumel ?" 
The assent given by the Half-pay insured Tom 
O'Loughlin's admission, his score being already out 
of all proportion with his ability to expunge. For a 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 227 

long time Tom had been inadmissible, except 
under the auspices of a guarantee. If such were 
not to be found, the poor droughty Tom should 
waddle out of the shop, and creep back to his 
miserable little house to spend the hours intended 
by him to be added to the day, in solitary, pining 
thirstiness. 

When the Half-pay had notified his intentions to 
be answerable for the ** duck's" reckoning of the 
night, he punched off merrily in the direction towards 
which he had nodded. 

At the end of the counter there was a side-door, 
the latch of which he raised, and descended three 
steps into a narrow, tortuous passage. This pas- 
sage was dimly lighted by candles fixed in sconces 
here and there, to the walls. But the " darkness 
visible " of the crooked entry was suflScient for the 
Half-pay ; he could have explored it blindfold, so 
often had he at nightfall traced its ups and downs, 
its twists and turns. 

Finally he reached a door, which he opened by 
pressing a latch, and entered an apartment a good 



228 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

way to the rear of the generally known portion of the 
house of '' Entertainment" Here the Bacchanalians 
of the " Town of the Cascades," that is, of a certain 
grade, might congregate beyond the ken of prying 
Cynicism. Here the "honest, hearty, pleasant 
fellows," as they dubbed themselves, might pour 
their libations ad libitum^ no one the wiser except 
the widow-woman and her " coy maiden." And the 
boisterousness that for the most part distinguished 
the prolonged orgies of this properly de^gnated 
"lone room" might rise to any pitch of uproarious- 
ness, unheard by the passers in the street, or by the 
inhabitants of the neighbouring houses. 

The " lone room " was homely in decoration and 
furniture. A plain deal table occupied the centre, 
with deal forms running parallel thereto on both 
sides, and a chair at either end. There was no fire- 
place; perhaps the deficiency was not without a 
purpose. On cr)ld winter nights, heat was supplied 
internally by means of steaming alcoholic drink; 
the colder the weather, the greater the quantity re- 
quired to raise the temperature of the guests. On 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 229 

summer evenings, the cool atmosphere of the " lone 
room " absorbed the excess of caloric. 

The whitewashed walls were relieved from their 
blankness by six prints, in frames covered with 
shining metal, imitative of gilding. These had been 
purchased by the widow-woman from a travelling 
pedlar, while the " lone room " was in process of re- 
modelling. Glaring in colour the prints were, 
and just because they flashed gaudily upon the eye, 
admirably adapted, in the purchaser's estimation, to 
adorn the new apartment. Their fitness so far being 
admitted, their appropriateness in all other respects 
must be denied. 

The three pendants against the right-hand wall, 
that is to the right as the Half-pay hopped in, were 
three saints, — not portraits, I venture to affirm, for 
they were scowling, sinister-looking saints. The 
three to the left were illustrative of the Scripture 
parable of the Prodigal Son. The saints were re- 
spectively attired in robes of the brightest red, the 
brightest blue, and the brightest yellow. The 
artist's idea seemed to be that saints should be 



230 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

clothed in the most brilliant hues of the rainbow, 
referable, perhaps, to their state of beatitude. So far, 
his idea was carried out ; in other respects I must 
say he failed to impart even a remote expression of 
sanctity — rather the contrary, I regret to admit. 

The first of the series to the left, commemorative 
of the progress of the Prodigal Son, calls for a par- 
ticular description, and which will ^ve an idea of 
the others. 

The youth was about to leave the paternal roof 
The father was seated in a gorgeously carpeted 
room hung with family pictures in massive frames. 
There was a scarlet covered settee^ not a downright 
modem lounger. The window-hangings were of 
brilliant red, fringed and tasselled. In bookcases 
were richly bound books, and amongst them, promi- 
nently in view, were the " Encyclopaedia Britannica " 
in many volumes, the "Arabian Nights," "Sir 
Charles Grandison," and "The Sportsman's Dic- 
tionary." Altogether, the family pictures, the 
character of the furniture, etc., led the observer to 
understand that he looked into the apartment of an 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 231 

English country gentleman of wealth and station, 
and the selection of the books notified that he was 
also a man of erudite habits becoming his years and 
position. 

Early in the day the young adventurer was about 
to depart. This was evident from the fact of the 
father being yet in dishabille. He had not removed 
his elaborately figured dressing-gown; his many- 
buckled wig, indeed, was on his head, with the 
black silk appendage therefrom called a bag; his 
nether-man was clothed in tight-fitting pantaloons, 
and he wore red morocco slippers without heels. 
The prodigal's father, so depicted, was a stately, 
sage-looking English gentleman of sixty years 
back. 

He sat at a small, diagonal table supported by a 
single pedestal. On this table a goodly pyramid of 
gold pieces was heaped up, and there was no doubt 
about their being, all of them, genuine British 
guineas, not long, apparently, from the imint, — 
certainly not in circulation at the commencement of 
the Christian era. These guineas had just been 



232 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 

counted down by the affluent head of the house, his 
fingers were in contact with the edge of the heap, 
and he was looking up soberly, and somewhat re- 
provingly at his son. 

The youth stood close by the diagonal table, and 
his eyes were fixed longingly on the glittering 
portion he was about to receive. He was fully 
equipped for his journey, ready to pop into the 
saddle. He was bareheaded, as he should be in his 
father's presence; his hair, well powdered and 
pomatumed, was frizzed and buckled from his ears 
to his forehead, while a taper queue hung between 
his shoulders. His coat was of bright blue, orna- 
mented down the front with two rows of gilt buttons ; 
pantaloons must have been in vogue when the illus- 
tration was designed, for the young adventurer wore 
those nether garments, of a very positive yellow, in 
tasteful contrast with his scarlet waistcoat. A long 
watch-chain, with massive seals thereto, hung down 
his thigh, and on his legs were hessian-boots, with 
tassels to the front reaching half-way to the insteps. 
On his heels were crane-necked silver spurs ; in his 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 233 

left hand was a silver-mounted riding-whip, and in 
his right, a smart, three-cocked hat, ready to be 
placed on his bepowdered head as soon as the 
pyramid of guineas on the table should have been 
handed over to him. 

Whether these delineations deserved commenda- 
tion or not, I must give my opinion again that the 
saints had no business whatever in the widow- 
woman's " lone room." And I will say that the moral 
inculcated by the parable was little heeded by its 
frequenters. Night after night the saints looked 
on perforce at conduct the reverse of saintlike. 
While the warning conveyed in the Scripture lesson 
was altogether thrown away on " the gay, honest, 
hearty fellows " who met there. 



234 



CHAFfER XXIII. 

A '* NIGHT OF IT." 

When the Half-pay entered the "lone room," 
as the widow-woman's muller and fingers had 
inthnated, four of its frequenters had already 
arrived, 

Ned Culkin the ganger was there. Ned was 
always the first to come and the last to leave. By 
his own account, he was "none of your pippin- 
squeezing fellows" that would flinch from their 
glass. No, he was not the lad to bring down on 
his head the malediction — ^by whom propounded, I 
cannot say, — " Cursed be he who leaves his liquor 
behind him." And Ned Culkin's early-day leaden 
eyes were sparkling; the round face that in the 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 235 

morning had been pale and flabby, was rubicund 
and plump ; the lips that had been shrivelled parch- 
ment were smooth and ruddy; his "shivering of 
cold" was past for the time; in fact, Ned was 
"himself again," "brisk as a bee, light as a 
fairy!" 

Nick Mahafly was there, the pompous little 
draper and silk-mercer, who always stooped when 
entering the chapel, to avoid knocking his head 
against the door-post, many feet above it. 

Toby Purcell, the landlord of the "McMahon 
Anns," was there. Toby Purcell often stole away 
from his own more pretentious establishment to in- 
dulge in the unobserved jovialities of the "lone 
room." 

Paddy Dreelan, grocer and spirit-dealer, was 
there. Wherever Mr. Nick Mahafly went, Paddy 
Dreelan was ambitious to be his satellite. 

But neither Nick Mahafly, nor Toby Purcell, 
nor yet the modest Paddy Dreelan, were deep-goers. 
Whenever they stole into the "lone room" they 
entered it at a pretty early hour, and retired betimes. 



236 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Ned Culkin stood up and held his glass high; 
the others followed his example, and the Colonel's 
health was toasted energetically. The complimented 
man saluted the shoulders of Nick Mahafiy and 
Toby Purcell with a hearty bang in passing ; shook 
hands across the table with Paddy Dreeling and 
Ned Culkin, and took his usual place near the head 
of the table. Even before he was seated the widow- 
woman's waitress, a pleasant-looking girl, had 
placed a steaming tumbler where she knew her 
most cherished guest always took his seat. 

" Health 1" burst forth the Half-pay, and he waved 
his glass round, then took a deep draught, and 
looked at his compeers with great intensity. 

Shortly after the Half-pay had left the widow- 
woman's shop on his way to the " lone room," in 
crept the poor "duck," rubbing his hands and 
cringing. 

" I hope I see you quite well, Mrs. Morrissy ?" 
he said, curving his features to their most abject 
smile. 

** Cry success to the Cumel, my poor fellow ;" 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 237 

and the widow-woman twirled her muUer in the 

direction of the side-door. 

(^," May the Curners pocket never be — " 

" Without a cross to keep the man with the 
horny toes out of it! Eh, Tom?" The muller 
again pointed out "the way he should go," and 
Tom O'Loughlin passed on to his night's revel. 

One by one otliers made their appearance. No 
more than one at a time ever entered the house of 
" Entertainment." Had its frequenters come in a 
flock, or even in pairs, it would have been noticed. 
A sudden dart into the shop when no eye was ob- 
serving; no pause therein — quick, quick, out of 
view behind the screen, and in through the winding 
passage. This was the general mode of entrance to 
the privacy of the " lone room." — A first-rate specu- 
lation on the part of the widow-woman was this " lone 
room." Good reason had she to congratulate herself 
on her perception of the phase of human frailty that 
makes people set a value on hidden pleasures, and 
think lightly of secret peccadillos. Half an hour 
after the arrival of the Half-pay, there were not less 



240 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

been compelled to take in the prevailing intemper- 
ance around him. He remembered with disgust 
what had passed; he would not again have ac- 
companied his master, did he not consider his 
services might be needed. It was Teague's convic- 
tion that his guardianship was requisite. 

Richard O'Meara, as I have said, entered the 
widow-woman's shop with a contracted brow and a 
surly compression of the lips. 

He had left home to escape his causes for self- 
accusation. There, his wife's pale face, struggling 
to disguise its terror under a sickly feint of smiling 
eagerness, had been a reproach to him. Michael 
Hanrahan's cheerless looks of disapproval had been 
a reproach to him. His eldest boy's apprehensive 
avoidance had been a reproach to him. The 
shrinking of his younger child from his loud voice, 
and his roughness, had been a reproach to him. 
Mary's thin artifice to avoid intrusting the baby but 
lately bom to his arms, had been a reproach to him. 
A dogged, morose resentment towards the home 
accusers took possession of him. And in this mood, 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 241 

his eye scowling, and his chest heaving with pent-up 
anger, he had sprung from his seat, and had left the 
place of accusation to seek forgetf ulness in the noisy 
and senseless fellowship of the "lone room/' 

" Go with him, and take care of him, good dog," 
said Michael Hanrahan, stooping to Teague's ear 
and whispering therein. 

Teague looked into his adviser's sorrowful eyes, 
and understood him. 

So it was that Richard O'Meara and his dog 
Teague, the one in surly humour, the other in dis- 
charge of an unpleasant duty, entered the widow- 
woman's shop. 



VOL. I. 



242 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

PLEASANT, HEABTY FELLOWSHIP. 

HERE was a hubbub of voices filling the apartment 
as Richard O'Meara raised the latch of the '' lone 
room." 

The pompous Nick Mahafiy was " insisting " on 
something most dictatorially, and at the highest 
pitch of his voice. Toby Purcell, in a mellow bass, 
with a waggish smile playing round his mouth, was 
steadily eliciting Nick Mahafiy's dictatorship. Paddy 
Dreelan was boisterous on Nick Mahafiy's side of 
the question. (By-the-way, Paddy Dreelan had 
been, as Toby Purcell insinuated, busy looking at 
somebody's tumbler going to his, Paddy's moutlu) 
Ned Culkin the ganger, in a brazen, harsh voice, 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 243 

was pert and snappish with every one. Tom 
O'Loughlin was loud in his approval of everything 
that everybody said. Others, in twos and threes, 
were eagerly discussing isolated topics, all talking 
loud, as needs must, if they wished their nearest 
neighbours to comprehend the gist of their discourse. 
On one point there was unanimity; all were 
devotedly imbibing the widow-woman's " liqueur de 
contradiction," as I have heard whisky-punch not 
unaptly designated.* 

The only person in the " lone room" not vociferat- 
ing was our friend the Half-pay, or Colonel. He still 
sat where he had first fixed himself, to all appearance 
unchanged and unchangeable. His stem look was 

* The term " liqueur de contradiction " was applied, I 
have been told, by some astonished Frenchman to Ireland's 
national beverage, on first beholding the admixture of in- 
gredients, and further when he witnessed its effect on those 
who drank it. " There was," he said, " whisky to make it 
strong, and water to make it weak : there was sugar to make 
it sweet, and lemon to make it sour." So far it was certainly 
a " liqueur de contradiction." And as to its efiects on the 
drinkers it was also a " liqueur de contradiction," inasmuch 
as no two persons were found to be of one mind after in- 
dulgence in it. 



244 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

riveted, now on one, now on another ; occasionally 
a single " Hah !" escaped him, — quite suflScient, the 
brief monosyllabic laugh, to testify that the din was 
gratifying to him. 

All at once the Half-pay sprang up to his full 
height. His glass was elevated above his head; 
his jaws were snapped asunder, and he vociferated 
the single word " Welcome !" with such stentorian 
force of lungs that it was heard above the uproar. 
Every look was instantly directed to the point indi- 
cated by the exclaimant's cudgel, and every " gay 
honest fellow " was on his feet promptly. 

" Health !" the Half-pay bellowed, and he flourished 
his glass with one hand^ and his cudgel with the 
other. 

«'Mr. Richard O'Mearas health and hearty 
welcome !" sang out Tom O'Loughlin. And " Mr. 
O'Meara's health and welcome," went from mouth 
to mouth. 

Tom O'Loughlin threw himself backward on his 
seat, thereby protruding his chiest so as to give a 
purchase, as it were, to his lungs, and his "Hip, 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 245 

hip, hurra 1" rang through the room as shrilly as if it 
were a trumpet-note sounded in the din of battle. 

Tom O'Loughlin was celebrated far and near 
for his effective leadership whenever *'Hip, hip, 
hurra!" was to be sung out. It was a small 
ambition, but it was an ambition with Tom 
O'Loughlin to be so distinguished. Every one to 
his vocation I 

So Tom O'Loughlin took upon himself on the 

present occasion (no one better fitted) to act as 

fugleman of the " lone room." He waved his glass 

backward and forward before his face, swaying his 

person with the motion as he sang out, with a 

brazen distinctness : — 

** For he's a right good fellow ! 
For he's a right good fellow I 
For he's a right good fel-l-o — w ! 
Which nobody can deny : 
Which nobody can deny, 
Which nobody can deny — 
For he's a right good fellow ! 
Which nobody can deny. 
Hip ! hip ! —hurra ! ^hurra ! hurra !" 

This standard ditty, certainly not distinguished 



246 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

for its lyric excellence, was joined in by the entire as- 
semblage of the " lone" room," the Half-pay excepted, 
who contented himself with bellowing out the final 
syllable of each line. Tom O'Loughlin was the 
leader of the strain throughout. Could the saints on 
the wall have escaped from their frames, off out of 
hearing they would have raced, to a dead certainty, 
so stunning was the discord. 

Yet when the finishing " Hip, hip, hurra !" had 
been shouted, and that every " right good fellow '* 
had thrown back his head, gazed at the ceiling, and 
en^ptied his glass, neighbour smiled blandly upon 
neighbour, each congratulating the other on the 
musical feat they had accomplished. 

Tom O'Loughlin, the fugleman, banged his empty 
glass down upon the table as he resumed his seat. 
Every " right good fellow " banged down his at the 
same moment, and Ned Culkin, protruding his lips, 
emitted a peculiar, quivering scream that rang shrill 
and piercing, not only through the " lone room," 
but also up the passage and into the shop. Almost 
instantly the Hebe of the establishment appeared. 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 247 

She pounced on the drained measures with marvel- 
lous celerity, they were all on her tray in the 
twinkling of an eye, and away she went. Many 
seconds did not elapse until they were ranged single 
file in front of the widow-woman. In went sugar and 
water with magical despatch ; — pop, popl in dived 
the muUer. " Dhmchy dhuichy dhmch /" screamed 
and shouted the black bottles. Widow-woman, 
Hebe, muUer, and black bottles were all so active 
and willing in their several vocations, that before the 
slightest note of impatience could escape the *^ right 
good fellows," a replenished, steaming jorum was at 
every man's right hand. 

Richard O'Meara's knotted brow uncoiled; his 
eyes flashed with excitement, and an expression of 
reckless abandonment replaced the surly expression 
of his lips. 

He put on a frolicksome, devil-may-carish air. 
(No less objectionable term would be so descriptive of 
his manner.) He threw himself into an exaggerated 
rhetorical attitude ; with sonorous voice and theatrical 
action he addressed his expectant audience. 



248 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" * Friends, countrymen, and lovers — 
" * Most potent, grave, and reverend seniors,' which 
description of the immortal poet, it must be ad- 
mitted, suits you to a T — -rhyme and reason together, 
you see. I am curved double, as you may per- 
ceive ; I cannot stand erect before you, so oppressed 
and weighed down am I by the magnitude of the 
obligation you have imposed upon me. So over- 
come am I by the enthusiastic, the vociferous, the 

obstreperous cordiality of your welcome that " 

"Hear, hear, hear!" fugled Tom O'Loughlin, 

shrill as a whistle. 

"Hear, hearl" Toby Purcell added, in his 
pleasant, mellow bass. Toby's "hear!" was an 
utterance of enjoyment, Tom 0'Loughlin*8 of adu- 
lation. 

"Hear!" bellowed the Half-pay. And the cry 
was taken up and shouted bravely. 

"Grand I" suggested Nick Mahafly to Paddy 
Dreelan, across the table. 

"Grand— grand entirely,*' assented Paddy, ob- 
sequiously. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 249 

" Silence, silence^ and be damned to the whole of 
ye !" barked forth Ned Culkin. " You're stopping 
the speech. Go on, my worthy, go on !" 

^ In vain haye I paused," resumed the mocking 
orator, "for words — whereby — to — express — the — 
the — agonizing poignancy— of— my — feelings — at 
— this — ^moment " 

What change was it that came over Richard 
O'Meara ? Was the sinking of the voice to a plain- 
tive quavering, affected or real ? Was the choking 
spasm in the throat assumed only? Was that 
sudden pause, as if the words would not come up- 
wards, no more than acting ? Was that harassing 
expression of face counterfeited ? Was the watery 
film in the eye brought there artificially? Was 
that resounding blow upon the chest inflicted for 
effect alone ? 

No — no. I have it from Toby Purcell, the only 
person present perhaps who perceived the change, 
that he looked with surprise at Richard O'Meara's 
altered countenance. And he understood on the 
instant that the words of the sentence, begun in 



250 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

mockery, had brought suddenly to the speaker's mind 
the recollection of all he had forfeited, and the de-> 
gradation to which he had descended ; that the sub- 
sidence of the voice, the struggle for utterance, the 
tears ready to overflow the eyes, and the smiting of 
the chest were reality, not acting. 

With a violent start, as if rushing from the 
presence of an accuser, Richard CMeara passed his 
hand hurriedly across his forehead and eyes. And 
then his mask of bravadoing jocularity was again 
put on. 

" Come, my jolly companions, every one," he 
cried out; "our honest, hearty Colonel did not 
exhaust the vocabulary when prefacing my health. 
One word as if shot out of a musket was sufficient 
for his purpose, and I will detain yon no longer 
from the lethean draught that changes the leaden 
eye of grief to sparkling diamonds. If this glass — " 
and he held it forth at arm's length — " were a well, 
sixty feet to the bottom, and filled with hot and 
strong whisky-punch, I'd drink it every drop to the 
good health of every pleasant fellow I see around 



THK TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 251 

me. Good health, merry and jolly days and nights 
to all of us. We'll drive dull care away, boys ; 
we'll tickle the ribs of mirth until he laughs lustily, 
and we'll chorus him as he laughs, — upon my soul 
we will, boys I" 

And Richard O'Meara drained his draught of 
lethe amid the clamorous approval of the "lone 
room," Ned Culkin's peculiar scream piercing 
through the din. 

" Gentlemen all," said Tom O'Loughlin, passing 
his hands through each other smoothly, speaking 
softly and insinuatingly, and grinning to the corners 
of his eyes — " I'm going to say what I know you'd 
like, and it is this: I propose that Richard 
O'Meara, Esquire, of Cascade Cottage, be our 
chairman of the night." 

" Hear I" exploded the Half-pay ; and there was 
a general noisy assent. 

" So be it, my merry men all, so be it. I accept 
at once the hilarious duties of your chairman. 
Noh episcopari is out of place here. And so to it 
we go." 



252 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES, 

With a rakish swagger of manner he seated 
himself at the head of the table. 

"Hallo! the vice-chair is vacant, I see. Tom 
O'Loughlin, my hearty thorough-goer, I appoint 
you as my viceroy. A veteran devotee you are, 
Tom O'Loughlin, to our Irish Bacchus — ^a heartier 
fellow, by long odds, our Hibernian Bacchus, than 
he of the ancients. As his veteran, devotee, friend, 
Tom, I place you in the vice-regal chair." 

Tom O'Loughlin assumed his station with right 
good will. 

" And now, my jovial lads, you have made me 
king of the Gregory, as we used to say at school. 
And I don't intend to be your king Log, let me 
tell you. I will begin my rule by issuing a decree. 
In the first place, we'll make a night of it." 

" Hear !" burst from the Half-pay. 

" Hear, hear 1" screamed the Vice-chair. 

Ned Culkin gave his curious scream, and there 
was a boisterous assent so &r. 

" Every jolly fellow here present must drink fair. 
No heel-taps or sky-lights allowed. When your 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 253 

king of the Gregory presenta the bottom of his 
tumbler to the zenith, all must follow suit, and when 
a fresh round appears, they must be brimmers, 
every glass. No one must quit the room to-night 
in an erect position— on the leaf of the hat is the 
only mode of exit permissible. Such is my decree ; 
let no man disobey me at his peril" 

"What's the punishment against rebels, Mr. 
Chau-r asked Toby Purcell. 

'^ The slinker from the ordinance must drink an 
extra tumbler — or the Vice-chair or Ned Culkin 
must drink it for him." 

" Hear, hear !" assented Tom O'Loughlin. 

"Ned Culkin is able and willing," agreed the 
ganger. 

" We'll begin the business of the night on fair 
terms," said the Chairman. " Every tumbler up. 
Vice-chair, attend to your duty." 

" All primed and loaded " reported the Vice-chair. 

" Then, ready, — present, — fire !" 

The commander put his glass to his lips, and 
emptied it to the bottom. 



254 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Ground arms !*' 

Following the example of the chairman, each 
tumbler was banged against the table, mouth down- 
wards. 

" Come, Hebe 1** and the king of the Gregory 
addressed the watchful waitress. " Another round, 
hot, strong, and sweet." 

The empty vessels were away and back again in 
a twinkling. 

** Now, boys, we start on equal terms. And this, 
our ammunition, must not lose strength by ly'mg 
over. I'll give a toast. I'll propose the health — 

Of as honest a soul, 

As ever drank liquor or fathomed a bowl. 

A wrong version of the old song I'm giving you, 
but 'twill do. You must take a deep draught to 
the health of one who is like an old-times drama 
—or like Byron's Caia— * a Mystery.' Not one can 
tell who he is or whence he came." 

" Hear!'* interrupted the Half-pay, explosively. 

" But this we know, every one of us, that after 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 255 

a way of his own * he is a right good fellow,' and 
that you could not prevail on him to throw a stone 
at a bottle of whisky '* 

*^ Hear V* broke in the Half-pay, as suddenly and 
as loudly as before. 

"Come, boys, our Colonel's health. On your 
legs — nine times nine — " 

All stood up instantly. Glasses were waved, and 
the " hip — hurra " was deafening. And the standard 
ditty " He is a right good fellow," was chanted. 

There was no personation of bashfulness by the 
Half-pay. He stamped his cudgel, he stamped his 
leg against the floor, and his ^' hip— hurra !" was 
even more distinct than that of the vice-chairman. 
He remained standing when all the others had re- 
sumed their seats. He raised his cudgel aloft, and 
banged it down on the chairman's shoulder with 
such force as to make the recipient of the blow 
wince. 

'' Health!" he announced, and the same scene 
was repeated as before. 

**And now, my hearties," flourished the "Chair,*' 



256 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 

as for brevity and good-fellowship he was called, 
^Met the toast and the glass keep going merrily. 
* Scrape me, and III scrape you,' shall be the order 
of the night. Let one propose the health of some- 
one, and that some-one return the compliment, and 
so keep the ball a-going. Toby Porcell, send it 
aloft." 

" Never say no, Mr. Chair," assented Toby ; and 
in his own rotund, plausible way, he brought the 
pretensions of the "Vice-chair" before the 
meeting. 

In town or country there wasn't a more loyal 
disciple of the Irish Bacchus — the god of punch — 
Toby made bold to call him. Tom had made an 
offering to the tipsy divinity of a nice little property ; 
and at one time or another during his life, every 
bone in his body had been broken (except his neck- 
bone) in the service of the same god. As a further 
claim on the affections of those assembled, Toby 
Purcell related how Tom O'Loughlin's nose had 
been bent nearly in contact with his ld% dieek, by 
a blow from a fellow-worshipper. And how, after 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 257 

having been worn thus awry for beyond a year, it 
had been put back into its original position, 
through the favour of the divinity so ardently 
followed, by another blow from another fellow- 
votary. Toby Purcell, in conclusion, appealed to 
Tom O'Loughlin himself as to the truth of his 
averments, and Tom pledged his word of honour 
as to the perfect accuracy of the statements. Toby 
Purcell therefore put it to the meeting — " Wasn't 
the poor fellow that suffered so much in so 
good a cause deserving to have his health drunk ?" 

The claim was fiilly admitted, and Tom's health 
was toasted with all the honours. 

On the " scrape me and I'll scrape you " prin- 
ciple decreed by the Chair, Tom O'Loughlin pro- 
posed Toby Purcell's health. Tom's body was 
bent ; his hands, as usual, revolved smoothly round 
each other ; his voice was soft and insinuating, and 
bis wrinkles curved into their most obsequious smile. 

" Toby Purcell," he said, " was the best-natured, 
the most open-hearted, the most generous^ the most 
hospitable gentleman, within the circle of the sea. 

VOL. I. s 



258 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Toby was never without his pleasant joke, and his 
pleasant face. And his good tumbler of punch — 
ay, his tumbler after tumbler, was always given 
with a free hand — " 

'* To do you justice, Tom, you never refused one," 
interrupted the eulogized individual. 

And Toby Purcell's health was received in the 
usual style. 

With the Chairman's sanction Toby Purcell 
brought forward Ned Culkin's merits. 

In his preface, Toby told the story of " the man 
up in the hills " who when dying, prockumed tri- 
umphantly that he had killed a ganger, taking 
credit for this praiseworthy act, as sufficient atone- 
ment for all the sins of his life. 

" But 'twould be the pity to take Ned Culkin's 
life. Ned could neither see nor smell a private 
still; and as for his dipping-rule, 'twas never 
known to find one half-glass in a puncheon of 
whisky more than the honest dealer said was there." 
To prove, however, that if Ned Culkin did not 
increase the revenue in one way, he certainly did 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 259 

in another. Toby stated — that during his lifetime 
Ned Culkin had consumed three hundred puncheons 
of whisky to his own share. The money value of 
which was, not to mind shillings and pence, nine 
thousand pounds, and that the contents of the three 
hundred puncheons would fill a lake sufiicient to 
float a ship of eight hundred tons burthen ! 

Lest there might be a question as to the accuracy 
of these computations, Toby Purcell called on Paul 
Carey the land-surveyor, who was present, to witness 
in his favour. Paul Carey had assisted Toby in his 
calculations, and now, consulting his field-book, he 
confirmed the accuracy of the statement. 

So Ned Culkin's health was given from the 
Chair, the honoured man screaming ecstatically at 
the recognition of his well-founded claims to dis- 
tinction. 

The proceedings went on briskly. Paddy Dree- 
lan, usually modest and unobtrusive, sprang up in 
high excitement to propose the health of — 

"The head man of the town, by Cork! — Mr. 
Nicholas MahafFy." 



260 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Before the toast was oflFered for acceptance, Toby 
Purcell related what he had heard as fact, that 
Nick Mahaffy's yard measure was only thirty inches 
long. This calumny Nick Mahaffy repelled indig- 
nantly. Paddy Dreelan swore " by every cottoner 
in Cork " that the fellow who thus spoke of Mr. 
Mahaffy's yard measure was a backbiter and a 
lying thief. Whereupon a warm disputation went 
forward, all present taking sides on the question, 
some seriously, some jocularly. On the Chair- 
man's suggestion, Toby Purcell admitted that 
he did not himself credit the report And the 
health of '* the head man of the town, by Cork 1" 
was received in high glee, and with due celebra- 
tion. 

Nick Mahafly brought forward the name of Paddy 
Dreelan — "a harmless, inoffensive creature, that 
came of a good owld stock of people — ^" 

Here again Toby Purcell interfered. He re- 
membered Paddy Dreelan " when he was a blind 
beggarman on Taghmon Bridge, in the County 
Wexford." 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 261 

The joke was too manifest on this occasion to be 
taken in dudgeon, and — 

" The health of the blind beggarman from Tagh- 
mon Bridge" was given from the Chair, and re- 
ceived with laughter and great "hip, hip, 
hurraing." 

And so, one after another, they were all " right 
good fellows," every one of them. 

Meantime the widow-woman's muller had had 
no rest. The black bottles were hoarse shouting 
" dhuich r The waitress was obliged frequently to 
wipe her brow with her apron, so rapid had been 
her goings and comings. 

It was evident the " Chair *' had resolved that 
the departures from the " lone room '^ should be " on 
the leaf of the hat " in real earnest. The Chairman 
would dash on to insanity, and he would force all to 
accompany him. So the drinking was furious. 

"There is one present," he shouted forth, 
"whose health has not yet been drunk. Come 
here, Teague, my boy — paws up here." He tapped 
the table, and — not a bound as usual — Teague 



262 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

reluctantly obeyed. He put up one paw only ; — 
in obedience to more peremptory orders be put up 
the other. He looked reproachingly and affec- 
tionately into his master's eyes. It was with a 
scowl of dislike that he surveyed the rest of the 
company. 

Mr. Chair eulo^zed bis dog, and promised on his 
part that in a short time he too would become as 
good a fellow as any other fellow. Teague's health 
was received uproariously, and Teague's master 
compelled his dog to swallow a full glass of punch, 
pledging the health of the company. The poor 
dog, thus excited, proceeded to take his share in 
the vagaries going forward. 

It was the remembrance of a like excess to which 
he bad been on a former occasion forced to submit, 
that had saddened Teague to-night when he accom- 
panied Richard OMeara to the house of the widow- 
woman. 



263 



CHAPTER XXV, 

FURTHER JOVIAL ErFECTS OF THE " CRUISKEEN 
LAWN." 

The inebriated Teague insisted on getting a seat at 
the table ; he placed his paws thereon, looked round 
him giddily, and, whenever laughter or high talk 
went on, he barked, not in a surly way, but with a 
loud, tipsy bark. 

Following the pledging of healths, and under 
orders from the Chair, came " a round of says and 
sentiments." For the information of those to whom 
this obsolete usage of good fellowship is unknown, 
I may explain, that these "says and sentiments*' 
were scarcely ever original. They were " says and 



264 THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 

sentiments ** in vogue on such occasions, and were 
used as provocatiyes to further drinking. 

"The land we live in," was one ; " May the best 
of our days be to come," was another ; " Erin go 
bragh !" another ; ** The liberator !"— ** Our 
absent friends !"—" May the old drunkards bury 
the young doctors !" — " May we never want a friend, 
or a bottle to give him I" and so on, winding up 
with, " Our noble selves !" coming with great Sdat 
from the Chair. 

"Hallo! Vice-chair r shouted Dick O'Meara, 
"we'll have no flagging in our fun. Clear your 
whistle, and sing us a song. Let us have ^Ha, 
ha, ha!' Vice-chair." 

"I'm all obedience, Mr. Chair," bowed and 
. smiled Tom O'Loughlin. 

" Hear ! — Ha — ^ha — ^ha 1' vociferated the Half-pay ; 
and " Ha — ^ha — ^ha 1" rang round the " lone room." 

The song called for was Tom O'Loughlin's 
masterpiece. The "Ha, ha, ha!" was a laugh 
with which each verse terminated, and when cho- 
rused at an advanced stage of inebriety, it was 



• THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 265 

like demon-laughter. I give one verse as a speci- 
men: — 

** When my wife Chevaun goes to ride, 
Two suggaun stirraps I'll provide ; 
And shell trot on in pomp and pride, 
And 1 will run by the garrav/rCs side. 
Sing — ^Tee-i-iddle-dee, 
Ae©"i"Oc J 
Ha!— ha!— ha! 
Fo-de-too-rol-lee." 

" A very good song, very well sung ; 
Jolly companions every one r 

— chaunted forth the Chairman, when Tom had given 
his final ^'Ha, ha, ha!" He was chorused in 
his chaunt, and then — 

" The Vice-chair's health and song !" was toasted. 
This chaunt, with ^^ the health and song " of the 
singer, was the Chairman's province at the finish of 
each strain, as the songs went round. 

"I have a claim, Mr. Chair?" asked Tom 
O'Loughlin, insinuatingly. 

" An undoubted claim you have, my hearty." 

«Ha! Then I call on Mr. Toby Purcell for a 
song." 



266 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" A right good call, Vice-chair. Take a drink 
and lilt away, Toby." 

" I wouldn't stop the night's enjoyment for the 
worid," answered Toby. " I suppose, Mr. Chair, 
every one must contribute his share ?" 

" Every one, Toby, — or drink a glass of salt and 
water." 

" Well, no salt and water for me, and so, here 
goes." 

Toby's song was of very humble pretensions as a 
lyric, but to each verse there was a chorus of three 
lines, that, for the humour it contained, went far to 
redeem the jejune merit of the rest. The air was 
sad and slow, the chorus given by the singer in 
melancholy cadence, and chorused by the company 
in like mockery of seriousness. One verse will tell 
for all the others : — 

** The poor trees would be leafless, no flowers would blow, 
No grass m the meadows, no potatoes would grow ; 
And ourselves we would wither, and droop, and decay, 
Unless showers were sent for to moisten the clay." 

Chorus — ** Sure we'll all be laid in the grave below, 

So we'll drink to our memories before we go/* 



THE TOWN OP THE CASCADES. 267 

The morality inculcated in the chorus greatly 
impressed the "jolly companions." 

Toby Purcell, as soon as his " health and song " 
had been "tossed oflF," as Ned Culkin called it, 
named Ned as the next vocalist 

Ned Culkin declared he could not sing with a 
heeltap of punch before him. He called on the 
Chair, out of regard to his intended " contribution 
of mirth," to order that all glasses should be 
emptied. This was a reasonable request, and it 
was ordered accordingly. Then fresh brimmers 
appeared. And then Ned Culkin began, in a 
mincing, cracked treble : — 

" Listen !— listen !— listen !" 
He paused, and turned his head from shoulder 
to shoulder, after the manner of a cock-sparrow. 

"Sups apiece all round, boys, before we go 
farther;" and he took "a sup" himself, and all 
" the boys " took " sups apiece " after him. 

" Listen !— listen I— listen !" 
Ned Culkin again sang. He paused as before, and 
turned his head as before. 



268 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

^^Supg apiece once more, boys," he repeated. 
And the " sups apiece " went round a second time. 

And so Ned Culkin went on, with alternate 
"Listen!— listen! — ^listen!" and his "Sups apiece 
all round, boys," until it was accorded that he had 
sung — 

*• A very good song, very well stmg/' 

and that he was " a jolly companion " too. 

There was one half humour, and one half pert 
mischief actuating Ned Culkin when he named the 
Half-pay as the singer to follow himself. Every 
one knew that such a continuous unloosing of his 
jaws by the Half-pay, as the emission of a song 
would necessitate, was. with him a sheer impos- 
sibility. And neighbour nudged neighbour glee- 
ishly, anticipating "the Cumel's" perplexity. 

The Half-pay disappointed them all. He sprang 
up, he held forth his. glass in his left hand, while 
pointing with his cudgel directly at that feature of 
Tom O'Loughlin's face, which had, according to 
Toby Purcell's statement, undergone such unheard- 
of vicissitudes, — 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 269 

" Ha ! — ^ha ! — ha !" — he snapped forth. 
" Fol-de-too-rall-loo," chimed in the Vice-chair. 
And the Half-pay resumed his seat as suddenly as 
he had risen. He looked from face to face, as if 
he would transfix his companions by his glance, 
and, undetected by any one present, the silent 
laughter circulated along his teeth, inside his re- 
clasped lips. 

" Song !" and the Half-pay touched the shoulders 
of the Chairman. 

"A song ye must have, my jolly companions," 
assented the Chair. 

Richard O'Meara's voice was round, mellow, and 
musical, and, assuming a thorough Bacchanalian air, 
he sang the fine old drinking-song of the " CrmS' 
keen hawn^^ with its Irish chorus : — 
" Gra ma chree, ma cruiskeen, 
Slauntha gal ma voumeen, 

Gra ma chree ma cruiskeen lawn : 
Gra ma chree ma cruiskeen, 
Slauntha gal ma^voumeen, 
Gra ma chree ma cruiskeen, 

Lawn, lawn, lawn — 
Gra ma chree ma cruiskeen lawn I** 



270 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

— setting the jolly companions half crazy, as their 
voices mingled together. 

"May that pipe of yovacs, Mr. Chair, never be 
without a drop to oil it," said Tom O'Loughlin. 
" Mr. Chair, if 'twouldn't be too much to ask, who 
knows but you'd give us your own song of the 
' Cruiskeen Lawn.' 

" To be sure I will, Tom, with a heart and a 
half" 

Dick O'Meara's ovm Song of the *^ CrudsJceen Lavm,*' 

« Who's he that says *Alas !' 
Whilst the pleasures of the glass 
Upon his hrooding sorrows dawn ? 
Oh, no ! he is not worth 
The best gift of his birth — 
Thy smile, my little Cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn, 
j[7iy smile, my little Cruiskeen lawn ! 
Chorus — Gra ma chree, etc. 

"The t'other day, 'tis said, 
As Phoebus rose from bed. 
And stooped his thirst to satisfy at dawn ; 
Instead of honey'd dew. 
His hurry led him to 
A jorum of our Cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn, 
A jorum of our Cniiskeen lawn ! 

Cliorus — Gi-a ma chree, etc. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 271 

" He thought it was the vase 
From which, in ancient days, 
Their godships all their nectar had drawn ; 
And since, as Tm alive, 
Ho swears he cannot thrive. 
Without our Irish Cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn. 
Without our Irish Cruiskeen lawn I 

Chorus — Gra ma chree, etc. 

" Huzza I for Irish whisky. 
And all its joys so frisky I 
Huzza I for all its frolic, roar, and fun I 
Och hone I Och hone 1 I can't 
Say half the things 1 meant 
In praise of thee, my Cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn. 
In praise of thee, my Cruiskeen lawn 1 

Chorus — Gra ma chree,** etc. 

As described to me by Toby Purcell, Mr. Chair's 
own song produced the most enthusiastic demonstra- 
tions of aflFection for " the Irish Cruiskeen lawn." 
During the progress of each verse the " jolly com- 
panions " smiled delightedly into each other's faces, 
swaying their bodies, and waving their glasses. And 
when the burthen of the 

" Cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn," 

came on, each, as if by common consent, laid his 



272 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

tumbler lovingly to his breast, and pressed it to 
his heart fondly, and took a hearty pull preparatory 
to the commencement of the second verse. And Mr. 
Chairman, carried away by the half-insane enjoy- 
ment over which he presided, was the most enthu- 
siastic of all. He had in fact succeeded in banishing 
all remembrance of the home-reproach which had 
sent him forth with a darkened countenance, to the 
intemperance of the " lone room." 

As the toasts and ^'says and sentiments" had, 
to use the language of the room, " gone the rounds," 
the song went "the rounds" also. Not one was 
treated to the glass of salt and water as a penalty 
for being unmusical. 

Nick Mahafiy would stand up for it against any 
one who should gainsay him, that he could sing 
songs for " a week of Sundays," but that just now he 
couldn't call them to his mind. One only he could 
recollect, and thai he used to sing when he was in 
his "Reading-made-easy," long ago. 

" The best you could sing, Nick, my jovial fellow. 
Out with it !" ordered the Chair. 



THK TOWN OF THK CASCADES. 273 

Nick Mahaffy's Song of Juvenility, 

" There were two birds upon a stone, 

SiDg diddle-diddle-dee-dum I 
One of those birds he flew away, 

Sing diddle-diddl&Hiee-doo I 
If the t'other isn't gone, 
You may catch it to-day. 

Sing diddle-diddle-dee-d-u-um l" 

" Very good song, very well sung. 
Jolly companions every one I" 

" Health and song, Mr. Nick Mahaffy 1" 

"I call on you, neighbour Paddy Dreelan,'* 
announced Mr. Nick MahaflFy. Paddy, obeying his 
patron's summons, sang a downright boozing ditty, 
scarcely to be expected from a person of his day- 
time cringing quietude of deportment. But Paddy 
had, as Toby Purcell had stated, seen somebody 
carrying his tumbler to his mouth. 

The Befrain of Paddy Dreelan's Boozing BiUy. 

" No crying, no sighing — 
A woful face don't let me see ; 

ril shut my shop. 

And go take my drop, 
And 80 live easy, gay, and free 1** 

VOL. I. T 



274 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

Paul Carey, the land surveyor, who with Toby 
Purcell had calculated the quantity and cost of 
Ned Culkin's whisky consumptions, sang a well- 
known laudation of punch. 

Refrain of Paid Carey's Song. 

" Punch cures the gout, the colic, and the phthisic, 
Punch cures the gout, the colic, and the phthisic. 
Then be it known to all men, — 
Be it known to all men, — 
Be it known to all men, 
*Tis the very best of physic 1 
Hurra! hurra! hurra!** 

" Begone dull Care " was given by an unmarried 
tippler, who shouted forth : — 

" My wife shall dance. 

And I will sing, 
So merrily pass the day — ^* 

all unheedful of his state. 

And " The Land of PotAtoes O," was chanted. 
—The land— 

" Where there's hospitality, 
All reality, 
No formality 
There youll ever see ; 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 275 

But, free and aisy, 
We will so amaze ye, 
You'll think us crazy ! 
Dull we'll never be ! 
Foll-de-roll-loll ! 
Foll-too-ra-loll-lee !" etc., etc. 

The Chairman volunteered a favourite lyric, 
generally sung on such occasions as the present. 
He made free with the text, however. Whenever 
the milder beverage, wine, was eulogized in the 
original he substituted the more pungent incentive 
of the " lone room." Thus : — 

*' That time flees fast, the poet sings. 
Oh ! let me then advise — 
In pottecn punch to wet his wings, 
And seize him as he flies," etc., etc. 

A waggish fellow, when his " lilt " came round, 
changed the character of the night's melodies, for 
he crooned — 

'* Inhere was a man, and he had a wife, 
And when she died he killed her ; 
And after that it came to pass 
That they had three fine childer. 



276 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

These childer all they went to slide 
Upon a summer's day ; — 

The ice it broke, and they all fell in, — 
And the rest they ran away T 



The singer of this classical romance (answering 
somewhat to the French ^' Hy avaii unefemme, qui 
B^appdaU Therese ; EUe avaii huU enfants, qui est 
la moUiS de seize," etc.) was proclaimed to be a 
" jolly companion " too. 

As the night wore on, each fresh brewing of the 
" liqv£wr de contradiction " hurried the drinkers to 
the climax of excitement It was no longer necessary 
that a draught of salt and water should be held up 
in terrorem. " Contributions of mirth," as the songs 
were named, were proffered, not only without solici- 
tation, but they were forced on the company. — 
^^ Croonawis" "Planxties," and love-songs were 
given in the Irish language, to impart a twang of 
the soil. And Tom O'Loughlin volunteered a stave 
in low-Dutch, as he stated it to be, the unintel- 
ligible gibberish of which set the "jolly companions" 
screaming and shouting with ecstasy. Ultimately 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 277 

there was a Babel of sin^ng, and talking, and jest- 
ing, and laughter. The '^liqueur de coniradie* 
iion " had set all the inmates of the " lone room " 
crazy. 

And poor tipsy Teague was as crazy as the rest. 
He would allow no one to remove him from his seat, 
and with his paws resting on the table he looked 
wildly from one insane face to the other, and yelped 
and barked stentoriously. The Chairman proclaimed 
himself as Pluto presiding over a revelry in Pan- 
demonium ; that Teague was Cerberus, and that he 
could see a cluster of heads sprouting from the 
brute's shoulders, and barking in chorus. 

Approaching to the third hour past midnight, the 
noise of the " lone room " had abated to a compara- 
tive lull. Of the twelve who had " set to " at the 
commencement of the debauch, only five remained, 
the others had escaped, one by one, as occasion 
ofiered. The five incorrigible topers were, Richard 
O'Meara, the Half-pay, Ned Culkin,Tom CLough- 
lin, and one other less noted person. 

" Hallo ! I say ! the festive board is half empty !" 



278 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

cried the Chair, looking around in blinking surprise. 
" Paltry cowards they are, and accursed may they 
be. May Gallaher's malediction lie upon them for 
leaving their liquor behind them. Up close to me 
here, my loyal few. Leal subjects ye are, who have 
remained faithful to your " king of the Gregory." 
My valiant comrades, notwithstanding the base 
desertion, our light shall not be — extinguished. 
No. • Music hath charms to soothe the savage ear,' 
and we will be musical. I proclaim — ;that we — 
strike up — a concert. Ha, ha, ha I — ^a concert, by 
the life of man ! — that Beethoven, or Mozart, or — 
or Mendelssohn, — or any other master — would be 
astonished at— to speak moderately! Yes, yes, 
upon my soul,— yes — astonished at — ha, ha ! hallo ! 
hulloo ! Colonel, my worthy^ a bassoon you are to 
be — a — ^ha, ha !— a prime instrument you will prove 
yourself. The devil a shriller, more squeaking 
clarionet was ever blown, than you will be, Ned 
Culkin ! Viceroy Tom, I name you my trombone. 
I see another leal subject down there; you're a 
stout-built, full-bodied fellow, ha, ha 1 and your hide 



THE TOWN OF 'mE CASOADEa 279 

is well-strained to keep you within it. My big 
drum you are to be. The leader of the orchestra 
so appoints his band. His musical majesty himself 
will be a fiddle — ha, ha, ha ! — hurra !** 

It was evident that the " concert " decreed by the 
Chair was no novel introduction to the " lone room." 
The Half-pay stood erect at the first summons. He 
inserted the ferule of his cudgel between his lips, 
and fingered it so as to prove his readiness to take 
part in the coming performance. Ned Culkin 
bounced up at once, steadied himself, fixed his 
hands as though he held a clarionet between them, 
and protruded his lips to receive the suppositious 
mouthpiece. Tom O'Loughlin pushed his left fist 
before him at arm's length, and held his right fist 
close to his right shoulder. The big drummer, he 
within the tightened hide, shut both his fists hard, 
and held them ready to pummel his own sides. And 
Mr. Chair snatched up the snuff-dish, placed it 
beneath his chin, and laid the snuffers across it as 
his fiddle-bow. 

" Ready ?" asked the Violin. 



280 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

" Ready ! — ready ! — ^ready ! — ready T answered 
the Bassoon, the Clarionet, the Trombone, and the 
Big-drum. 

" Then the Fiddle opens the concert. Here goes," 
The maUre cForchestre, with exaggerated con- 
tortions and grimaces, rattled the snuffers across the 
snuff-dish, imitating with his voice, in the most ludi- 
crous fashion, the instrument he represented. The 
Half-pay, with knitted brows and apparent intensity, 
worked at imaginary orifices in his cudgel, while a 
hoarse sound, somewhat near ^^hhrum — hhrvm — 
hhrvm /" was barked forth as bassoon. Ned Cul- 
kin swayed his body violently upwards and down- 
wards as he fingered his imaginary clarionet, 
and his quavering scream was piercing as he so 
jerked his person. Tom O'Loughlin worked his 
ideal trombone to and fro with might and main, 
accompanying his motions with most discordant 
sounds: and the Bigdrum battered his own fat 
sides most furiously, forcing out with every blow 
such hollow noise as a well-beaten big-dnim should 
emit. 



THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 281 

Fast and furious the ludicrous *' concert '* pro- 
ceeded. The snuffers and snuff-dish rattled and 
scraped energetically, while the* human Violin 
squeaked a galloping jig ; the jaws of the Clarionet 
were distended, and the Clarionet's body bent and 
rose, and the Clarionet's fingers fingered the air, 
and the Clarionet screamed shrilly ; and the Bassoon 
barked " bhrum ! — bhrum ! — bhrum ! continuously ; 
and the two arms of the Trombone worked back- 
ward and forward as if the Trombone were possessed, 
continuous groaning sounds coming from the Trom- 
bone's mouth : and the hide-bound Big-drum battered 
away fiercely, with a hoarse " bow-wow ! bow-wow !" 
imitative of a big drum, following the blows. 

Now and again the instruments paused to take 
breath, and the instruments laughed, loud wild 
laughter ; and the instruments wiped their teeming 
foreheads between whiles; and the instruments 
drank deep draughts of liquor, and then went on 
again with renovated vigour. 

Had these five last tipplers of the ** lone room " 
become raging mad ? Yes, veritable maniacs were 



282 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

they. Mad children you would report them to be, 
80 earnest and energetic in their tantrums, and yet 
so ludicrous their antics. 

' And on, on went the concert, varied by drinking 
and meaningless laughter. At length, the Big* 
drum fell heavily to the floor ; Fiddle, Clarionet, and 
Trombone shouted lustily ; and the " bhrum !— 
bhrum !" of the Bassoon was barked out riotously. 
After a time, the Clarionet sank down, exhausted 
and disabled ; next, the Trombone staggered and 
fell. Now Fiddle and Bassoon alone stood erect. 
Between the two a fierce rivalry went on for a while, 
and then the Bassoon tumbled helplessly. Of all 
the five instruments the Fiddle alone remained up- 
right So the Fiddle shouted ** Huzza I huzza! 
huzza! The king of the Gregory was the con- 
queror !" 

As the instruments fell successively, the dog 
Teague, who had also been an excited participator 
in the concert, barking all the while, worried each 
with apparent relish for the pastime. When all four 
had sunk down, he went from one to the other 



THK TOWN OF THE CASCADEa 283 

rolling tbeiQ over and shaking them, as if sharing 
in his master's victory, and intent on despoiling the 
slab. 

Then Richard O'Meara sat down, breathing 
laboriously, and shouting and laughing. He 
seized a glass in his right hand and another in 
his left 

** Your health, O'Meara, my boy !" he said, in a 
congratulatory tone, and he drank from his right- 
hand glass. 

" Thank you, Dick, my staunch old fellow !" and 
he drank from his left-hand glass. 

"Your health again, O'Meara," and he drank 
again from his right-hand glass. 

"Thank you, Dick, my hearty 1" and he drank 
again from his left-hand glass. 

And so he went on, right against left, left against 
right, to satisfy himself as to his superiority as a 
drinker, and in laudation of himself as hero of the 
night. 

Notwithstanding a strong repugnance towards 
my subject, I have described in detail this night of 



284 THE TOWN OF THE CASCADES. 

nights in the " lone room," that the reader of this, 
my narrative, may be able to draw a comparison 
between the home of Richard O'Meara, and the 
misnamed " indulgence " for which he had aban- 
doned it. 



END OF VOL. I. 



liONDOK : PBIMTBO BT WILTJAM CLOWES Aim 80X8, ST AMFOBD STBEVT 
AMD CHARIXO CROSS. 




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